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The big shareholder groups in Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) have power over the company. 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.
Lincoln National has a market capitalization of US$7.2b, 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. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about Lincoln National.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Lincoln National?
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 have a fair amount of stake in Lincoln National. 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. 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 Lincoln National's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Lincoln National. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 12% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 7.8% and 5.2% of the stock.
Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 51% of the ownership is controlled by the top 17 shareholders, meaning that no one shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.
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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Lincoln National
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. 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.
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.
I can report that insiders do own shares in Lincoln National Corporation. 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$421m 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 holds a 14% stake in LNC. 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Lincoln National (of which 1 is a bit concerning!) you should know about.
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.
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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