Institutional owners may consider drastic measures as Fulton Financial Corporation's (NASDAQ:FULT) recent US$170m drop adds to long-term losses

·4 min read

Key Insights

  • Given the large stake in the stock by institutions, Fulton Financial's stock price might be vulnerable to their trading decisions

  • A total of 15 investors have a majority stake in the company with 50% ownership

  • Insiders have bought recently

Every investor in Fulton Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FULT) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 67% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

As a result, institutional investors endured the highest losses last week after market cap fell by US$170m. Needless to say, the recent loss which further adds to the one-year loss to shareholders of 13% might not go down well especially with this category of shareholders. Often called “market makers”, institutions wield significant power in influencing the price dynamics of any stock. As a result, if the decline continues, institutional investors may be pressured to sell Fulton Financial which might hurt individual investors.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Fulton Financial.

View our latest analysis for Fulton Financial

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Fulton Financial?

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.

We can see that Fulton Financial does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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 Fulton Financial's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Fulton Financial. Our data shows that BlackRock, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 14% of shares outstanding. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 10% of common stock, and Dimensional Fund Advisors LP holds about 7.3% of the company stock.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 15 shareholders have a combined ownership of 50% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.

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 Fulton Financial

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.

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 Fulton Financial Corporation insiders own under 1% of the company. Keep in mind that it's a big company, and the insiders own US$24m worth of shares. The absolute value might be more important than the proportional share. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 32% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Fulton Financial. 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.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Take risks for example - Fulton Financial has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.

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