If you want to know who really controls Loews Corporation (NYSE:L), 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.
Loews is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$12b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Loews.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Loews?
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.
Loews already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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 Loews' historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Loews is not owned by hedge funds. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is The Vanguard Group, Inc. with 9.2% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 7.3% and 6.9% of the stock. In addition, we found that James Tisch, the CEO has 6.1% of the shares allocated to his name
On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 8 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. As far I can tell there isn't analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.
Insider Ownership Of Loews
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
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.
It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Loews Corporation. It is very interesting to see that insiders have a meaningful US$1.9b stake in this US$12b business. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish to access this free chart showing recent trading by insiders.
General Public Ownership
The general public holds a 19% stake in Loews. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Loews (2 shouldn't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
If you would prefer check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, backed by strong financial data.
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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