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What Kind Of Shareholders Own Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BF.B)?

A look at the shareholders of Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BF.B) 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. 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.

Brown-Forman has a market capitalization of US$24.6b, so it’s too big to fly under the radar. We’d expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. Taking a look at the our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutions own shares in the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about BF.B.

Check out our latest analysis for Brown-Forman

NYSE:BF.B Ownership Summary October 4th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Brown-Forman?

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.

Brown-Forman already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 34% of the company. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 Brown-Forman’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NYSE:BF.B Income Statement Export October 4th 18

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Brown-Forman. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Brown-Forman

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.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Brown-Forman Corporation. Insiders own US$3.3b worth of shares in the US$24.6b company. That’s quite meaningful. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 18% 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 Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 35%, of the BF.B stock. 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.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow of 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.