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Could The Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:BOTJ) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

Simply Wall St

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A look at the shareholders of Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:BOTJ) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.'

Bank of the James Financial Group is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$65m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about BOTJ.

View our latest analysis for Bank of the James Financial Group

NasdaqCM:BOTJ Ownership Summary, May 14th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Bank of the James Financial Group?

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 own 24% of Bank of the James Financial Group. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Bank of the James Financial Group's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NasdaqCM:BOTJ Income Statement, May 14th 2019

Our data indicates that hedge funds own 9.7% of Bank of the James Financial Group. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. As far I can tell there isn't analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.

Insider Ownership Of Bank of the James Financial Group

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.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

We can see that insiders own shares in Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$5.7m worth of the US$65m company. This shows at least some alignment, but I usually like to see larger insider holdings. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 56% stake in BOTJ, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.