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After losing 8.2% in the past year, Fastly, Inc. (NYSE:FSLY) institutional owners must be relieved by the recent gain

Key Insights

  • Given the large stake in the stock by institutions, Fastly's stock price might be vulnerable to their trading decisions

  • A total of 16 investors have a majority stake in the company with 50% ownership

  • Recent sales by insiders

To get a sense of who is truly in control of Fastly, Inc. (NYSE:FSLY), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 60% to be precise, is institutions. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

Institutional investors would probably welcome last week's 8.4% increase in share prices after a year of 8.2% losses as a sign that returns are likely to begin trending higher.

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In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Fastly.

See our latest analysis for Fastly

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Fastly?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

Fastly already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Fastly, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Fastly. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is The Vanguard Group, Inc. with 9.2% of shares outstanding. With 8.1% and 7.0% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and Artur Bergman are the second and third largest shareholders. Artur Bergman, who is the third-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Chairman of the Board. In addition, we found that Todd Nightingale, the CEO has 0.9% of the shares allocated to their name.

Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 50% of the ownership is controlled by the top 16 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.

While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Fastly

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

We can see that insiders own shares in Fastly, Inc.. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$203m. Most would see this as a real positive. If you would like to explore the question of insider alignment, you can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 31% stake in Fastly. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with Fastly , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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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