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Every investor in MSA Safety Incorporated (NYSE:MSA) 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. 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.
MSA Safety is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$4.6b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. In the chart below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about MSA Safety.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About MSA Safety?
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.
MSA Safety already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in 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. 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 MSA Safety, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. MSA Safety is not owned by hedge funds. Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP is currently the company's largest shareholder with 11% of shares outstanding. With 9.1% and 7.7% of the shares outstanding respectively, The Vanguard Group, Inc. and BlackRock, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.
On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 8 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of MSA Safety
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. 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.
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 MSA Safety Incorporated. This is a big company, so it is good to see this level of alignment. Insiders own US$291m worth of shares (at current prices). It is good to see this level of investment by insiders. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 13% stake in MSA Safety. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks for example - MSA Safety has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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.
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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.