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Do Institutions Own Shares In West Bancorporation, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTBA)?

Simply Wall St

If you want to know who really controls West Bancorporation, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTBA), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

West Bancorporation is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$373m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about WTBA.

View our latest analysis for West Bancorporation

NasdaqGS:WTBA Ownership Summary, March 5th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About West Bancorporation?

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 own 38% of West Bancorporation. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 West Bancorporation, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGS:WTBA Income Statement, March 5th 2019

We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in West Bancorporation. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.

Insider Ownership Of West Bancorporation

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 West Bancorporation, Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$11m worth of the US$373m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public — mostly retail investors — own 52% of West Bancorporation . This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 6.4%, of the company’s shares. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it’s hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand West Bancorporation better, we need to consider many other factors.

I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

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.