Every investor in Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Warren Buffett said that he likes "a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people." So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.
Weis Markets has a market capitalization of US$2.2b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Weis Markets.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Weis Markets?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Weis Markets. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at Weis Markets' earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in Weis Markets. The company's CEO Jonathan Weis is the largest shareholder with 39% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 7.5% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 6.5% by the third-largest shareholder.
To make our study more interesting, we found that the top 3 shareholders have a majority ownership in the company, meaning that they are powerful enough to influence the decisions of the company.
Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. We're not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.
Insider Ownership Of Weis Markets
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.
I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of Weis Markets, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$2.2b, and insiders have US$870m worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish to access this free chart showing recent trading by insiders.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 22% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too.
I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free.
Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free free list of interesting companies.
NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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