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Could The The First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBMS) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

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Every investor in The First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBMS) 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. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

First Bancshares is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$542m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about FBMS.

Check out our latest analysis for First Bancshares

NasdaqGM:FBMS Ownership Summary, August 29th 2019
NasdaqGM:FBMS Ownership Summary, August 29th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About First Bancshares?

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.

First Bancshares already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 60% of the company. 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. 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 Bancshares, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGM:FBMS Income Statement, August 29th 2019
NasdaqGM:FBMS Income Statement, August 29th 2019

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in First Bancshares. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.

Insider Ownership Of First Bancshares

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in The First Bancshares, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$542m, and insiders have US$24m worth of shares, in their own names. This shows at least some alignment. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 35% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over FBMS. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand First Bancshares better, we need to consider many other factors.

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 .

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.

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.