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What Kind Of Investor Owns Most Of Unity Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNTY)?

Simply Wall St

The big shareholder groups in Unity Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNTY) have power over the company. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. 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.

With a market capitalization of US$219m, Unity Bancorp is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below 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 shareholder can tell us about UNTY.

See our latest analysis for Unity Bancorp

NasdaqGM:UNTY Ownership Summary, August 20th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Unity Bancorp?

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 36% of Unity Bancorp. 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 Unity Bancorp, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGM:UNTY Income Statement, August 20th 2019

Our data indicates that hedge funds own 6.1% of Unity Bancorp. That's interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of Unity Bancorp

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

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.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Unity Bancorp, Inc.. Insiders have a US$27m stake in this US$219m business. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 22% 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 a stake of 8.0%, private equity firms could influence the UNTY board. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 16%, of the company's shares. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.

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 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.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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.