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Could The Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

Simply Wall St

The big shareholder groups in Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

Globe Life is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$10b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about GL.

View our latest analysis for Globe Life

NYSE:GL Ownership Summary, October 12th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Globe Life?

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.

Globe Life already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 72% of 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. 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 Globe Life's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NYSE:GL Income Statement, October 12th 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 Globe Life. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of Globe Life

The definition of company insiders can be subjective, and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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.

I can report that insiders do own shares in Globe Life Inc.. It is a very large company, and board members collectively own US$225m worth of shares (at current prices). Most would say this shows a good alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. Still, it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 20% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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.

Public Company Ownership

Public companies currently own 5.8% of GL stock. We can't be certain, but this is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Globe Life 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.

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.

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.