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The big shareholder groups in First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ:FFWM) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, 'Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.
First Foundation isn't enormous, but it's not particularly small either. It has a market capitalization of US$1.1b, which means it would generally expect to see some institutions on the share registry. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about First Foundation.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About First Foundation?
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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in First Foundation. 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 Foundation, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in First Foundation. FMR LLC is currently the company's largest shareholder with 6.9% of shares outstanding. BlackRock, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 6.6% of common stock, and Ulrich Keller holds about 5.0% of the company stock. Ulrich Keller, who is the third-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Chairman of the Board. Furthermore, CEO Scott Farris Kavanaugh is the owner of 2.8% of the company's shares.
Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 51% of the ownership is controlled by the top 15 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.
Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of First Foundation
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.
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.
Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in First Foundation Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$1.1b, and insiders have US$130m worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 23% 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with First Foundation .
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.
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. 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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