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Are Institutions Heavily Invested In WideOpenWest, Inc.'s (NYSE:WOW) Shares?

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A look at the shareholders of WideOpenWest, Inc. (NYSE:WOW) can tell us which group is most powerful. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of US$1.7b, WideOpenWest is a decent size, so it is probably on the radar of institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about WideOpenWest.

Check out our latest analysis for WideOpenWest

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About WideOpenWest?

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.

WideOpenWest already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at WideOpenWest's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

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

Our data indicates that hedge funds own 8.2% of WideOpenWest. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. Crestview Partners, L.P. is currently the largest shareholder, with 36% of shares outstanding. With 8.2% and 5.7% of the shares outstanding respectively, Nine Ten Capital Management, LLC and The Vanguard Group, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders. Furthermore, CEO Teresa Elder is the owner of 2.0% of the company's shares.

Our research also brought to light the fact that roughly 54% of the company is controlled by the top 4 shareholders suggesting that these owners wield significant influence on the business.

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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of WideOpenWest

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.

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.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in WideOpenWest, Inc.. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$81m. Most would see this as a real positive. If you would like to explore the question of insider alignment, you can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 14% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Equity Ownership

With an ownership of 36%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Some investors might be encouraged by this, since private equity are sometimes able to encourage strategies that help the market see the value in the company. Alternatively, those holders might be exiting the investment after taking it public.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with WideOpenWest (at least 2 which make us uncomfortable) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.

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.

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