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What Type Of Shareholder Owns MFA Financial, Inc.'s (NYSE:MFA)?

Simply Wall St

A look at the shareholders of MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA) 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. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

MFA Financial is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$3.2b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. In the chart below 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 MFA.

See our latest analysis for MFA Financial

NYSE:MFA Ownership Summary, July 22nd 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About MFA Financial?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

MFA Financial already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 84% of the company. 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 MFA Financial's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NYSE:MFA Income Statement, July 22nd 2019

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 MFA Financial. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of MFA Financial

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.

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.

Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of MFA Financial, Inc. in their own names. It is a pretty big company, so it would be possible for board members to own a meaningful interest in the company, without owning much of a proportional interest. In this case, they own around US$24m worth of shares (at current prices). It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 15% stake in MFA. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

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 always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

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.