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What Type Of Shareholder Owns Farmer Bros. Co.'s (NASDAQ:FARM)?

Simply Wall St

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Every investor in Farmer Bros. Co. (NASDAQ:FARM) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.'

With a market capitalization of US$338m, Farmer Bros is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about FARM.

See our latest analysis for Farmer Bros

NasdaqGS:FARM Ownership Summary, May 8th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Farmer Bros?

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.

Farmer Bros already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 47% of the company. 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 Farmer Bros's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NasdaqGS:FARM Income Statement, May 8th 2019

Our data indicates that hedge funds own 24% of Farmer Bros. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Farmer Bros

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.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Farmer Bros. Co.. In their own names, insiders own US$25m worth of stock in the US$338m 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

With a 10% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over FARM. 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.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free .

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.