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What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:WASH) Stock?

Simply Wall St

A look at the shareholders of Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:WASH) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. 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.

Washington Trust Bancorp has a market capitalization of US$875m, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about WASH.

View our latest analysis for Washington Trust Bancorp

NasdaqGS:WASH Ownership Summary, October 25th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Washington Trust 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 66% of Washington Trust 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 Washington Trust Bancorp, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGS:WASH Income Statement, October 25th 2019

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Washington Trust Bancorp. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Washington Trust Bancorp

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.

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$75m worth of the US$875m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 25% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over WASH. 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 like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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.