U.S. markets closed
  • S&P 500

    4,136.48
    -43.28 (-1.04%)
     
  • Dow 30

    33,926.01
    -127.93 (-0.38%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    12,006.96
    -193.86 (-1.59%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    1,985.53
    -15.69 (-0.78%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    73.23
    -2.65 (-3.49%)
     
  • Gold

    1,877.70
    -53.10 (-2.75%)
     
  • Silver

    22.40
    -1.22 (-5.17%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.0798
    -0.0113 (-1.04%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    3.5320
    +0.1360 (+4.00%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2056
    -0.0173 (-1.41%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    131.1500
    +2.5460 (+1.98%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    23,421.11
    +20.24 (+0.09%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    535.42
    -1.43 (-0.27%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,901.80
    +81.64 (+1.04%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    27,509.46
    +107.41 (+0.39%)
     

With 76% ownership, First American Financial Corporation (NYSE:FAF) boasts of strong institutional backing

If you want to know who really controls First American Financial Corporation (NYSE:FAF), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. With 76% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

Because institutional owners have a huge pool of resources and liquidity, their investing decisions tend to carry a great deal of weight, especially with individual investors. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.

Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about First American Financial.

See our latest analysis for First American Financial

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About First American Financial?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it's included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in First American Financial. 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 First American Financial, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. It looks like hedge funds own 9.7% of First American Financial shares. That's interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 10% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 9.7% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 9.2% by the third-largest shareholder.

We did some more digging and found that 10 of the top shareholders account for roughly 52% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of First American Financial

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 First American Financial Corporation. This is a big company, so it is good to see this level of alignment. Insiders own US$203m worth of shares (at current prices). 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

With a 10% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over First American Financial. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Next Steps:

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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for First American Financial you should know about.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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.

Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here