Given the large stake in the stock by institutions, Sandy Spring Bancorp's stock price might be vulnerable to their trading decisions
The top 21 shareholders own 50% of the company
Analyst forecasts along with ownership data serve to give a strong idea about prospects for a business
To get a sense of who is truly in control of Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:SASR), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 67% 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. Therefore, a good portion of institutional money invested in the company is usually a huge vote of confidence on its future.
Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Sandy Spring Bancorp.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sandy Spring Bancorp?
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 Sandy Spring Bancorp. 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Sandy Spring Bancorp, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
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 Sandy Spring Bancorp. Our data shows that BlackRock, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 9.4% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 5.9% and 5.8% of the stock.
A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 21 shareholders have a combined ownership of 50% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.
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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Sandy Spring 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.
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.
We can report that insiders do own shares in Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$32m worth of stock in the US$982m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 29% stake in Sandy Spring Bancorp. 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Sandy Spring 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.
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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.