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The big shareholder groups in Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:WASH) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.
Washington Trust Bancorp isn't enormous, but it's not particularly small either. It has a market capitalization of US$803m, which means it would generally expect to see some institutions on the share registry. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Washington Trust Bancorp.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Washington Trust Bancorp?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in 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. 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 Washington Trust Bancorp's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Washington Trust Bancorp is not owned by hedge funds. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc. with 8.9% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 6.0% and 5.2%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.
A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 14 shareholders have a combined ownership of 51% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.
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. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.
Insider Ownership Of Washington Trust Bancorp
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.
I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.
Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$19m worth of stock in the US$803m company. This shows at least some alignment. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 23% 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Washington Trust Bancorp .
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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