Significantly high institutional ownership implies RLI's stock price is sensitive to their trading actions
A total of 9 investors have a majority stake in the company with 50% ownership
Ownership research along with analyst forecasts data help provide a good understanding of opportunities in a stock
To get a sense of who is truly in control of RLI Corp. (NYSE:RLI), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 84% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.
Since institutional have access to huge amounts of capital, their market moves tend to receive a lot of scrutiny by retail or individual investors. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.
Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about RLI.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About RLI?
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 RLI. 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 RLI's 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. Hedge funds don't have many shares in RLI. The company's largest shareholder is The Vanguard Group, Inc., with ownership of 11%. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 10% and 10% of the stock.
On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 9 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.
While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. 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 RLI
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
We can see that insiders own shares in RLI Corp.. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$240m. Most would see this as a real positive. 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-- including retail investors -- own 13% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. 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. Take risks for example - RLI has 3 warning signs (and 2 which are a bit concerning) we think you should know about.
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.
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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.