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If you want to know who really controls South Plains Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPFI), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. 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$368m, South Plains Financial is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about South Plains Financial.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About South Plains Financial?
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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in South Plains Financial. 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 South Plains Financial's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in South Plains Financial. The company's largest shareholder is South Plains Financial, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan, with ownership of 15%. With 14% and 9.4% of the shares outstanding respectively, Curtis Griffith and Henry Taw, L.P. are the second and third largest shareholders. Curtis Griffith, who is the second-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Chief Executive Officer.
We did some more digging and found that 10 of the top shareholders account for roughly 51% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.
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. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.
Insider Ownership Of South Plains Financial
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. 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 insiders maintain a significant holding in South Plains Financial, Inc.. Insiders own US$60m worth of shares in the US$368m company. 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 37% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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.
Private Company Ownership
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 9.4%, 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Be aware that South Plains Financial is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...
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.
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. 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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