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A look at the shareholders of Starwood Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:STWD) can tell us which group is most powerful. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.
With a market capitalization of US$7.5b, Starwood Property Trust is rather large. We'd expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. In the chart below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Starwood Property Trust.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Starwood Property Trust?
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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Starwood Property Trust. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at Starwood Property Trust's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Starwood Property Trust. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 8.5% of shares outstanding. BlackRock, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 6.4% of common stock, and Barry Sternlicht holds about 3.5% of the company stock. Barry Sternlicht, who is the third-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Chairman of the Board.
Our studies suggest that the top 25 shareholders collectively control less than half of the company's shares, meaning that the company's shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.
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 Starwood Property Trust
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
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 Starwood Property Trust, Inc.. It is a pretty big company, so it is generally a positive to see some potentially meaningful alignment. In this case, they own around US$323m worth of shares (at current prices). If you would like to explore the question of insider alignment, you can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 49% stake in Starwood Property Trust. 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.
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. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for Starwood Property Trust you should be aware of, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.
Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.