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Do Insiders Own Shares In TowneBank (NASDAQ:TOWN)?

Simply Wall St

Every investor in TowneBank (NASDAQ:TOWN) 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. Warren Buffett said that he likes 'a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people'. So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

TowneBank has a market capitalization of US$2.0b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about TOWN.

View our latest analysis for TowneBank

NasdaqGS:TOWN Ownership Summary, October 18th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About TowneBank?

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.

TowneBank already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 48% 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 TowneBank's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NasdaqGS:TOWN Income Statement, October 18th 2019

Hedge funds don't have many shares in TowneBank. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.

Insider Ownership Of TowneBank

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

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.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of TowneBank. It has a market capitalization of just US$2.0b, and insiders have US$222m worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish to access this free chart showing recent trading by insiders.

General Public Ownership

With a 41% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over TOWN. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

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.

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.