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What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most Potbelly Corporation (NASDAQ:PBPB) Stock?

Brandy Kinsey

A look at the shareholders of Potbelly Corporation (NASDAQ:PBPB) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Potbelly is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$200m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about PBPB.

Check out our latest analysis for Potbelly

NasdaqGS:PBPB Ownership Summary January 4th 19

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Potbelly?

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.

We can see that Potbelly does have institutional investors; and they hold 66% of the 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 Potbelly’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqGS:PBPB Income Statement Export January 4th 19

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. It looks like hedge funds own 15% of Potbelly shares. 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 are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Potbelly

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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.

I can report that insiders do own shares in Potbelly Corporation. In their own names, insiders own US$4.7m worth of stock in the US$200m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board, though I generally prefer to see bigger insider holdings. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 16% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over PBPB. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

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.

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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.