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Every investor in Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE:NGVC) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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.
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$332m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage?
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.
We can see that Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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. 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 Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is not owned by hedge funds. Because actions speak louder than words, we consider it a good sign when insiders own a significant stake in a company. In Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage's case, its Co-President, Zephyr Isely, is the largest shareholder, holding 14% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 8.1% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 7.0% by the third-largest shareholder.
We did some more digging and found that 8 of the top shareholders account for roughly 52% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.
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 is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.
Insider Ownership Of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
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.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc.. Insiders have a US$113m stake in this US$332m business. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
With a 26% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
Private Company Ownership
It seems that Private Companies own 8.1%, of the Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage stock. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.
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. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage that you should be aware of before investing here.
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.
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.
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