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Is Vector Group Ltd.'s (NYSE:VGR) Shareholder Ownership Skewed Towards Insiders?

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If you want to know who really controls Vector Group Ltd. (NYSE:VGR), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, 'Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.

With a market capitalization of US$2.2b, Vector Group is a decent size, so it is probably on the radar of institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Vector Group.

Check out our latest analysis for Vector Group

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Vector Group?

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.

We can see that Vector Group does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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 Vector Group, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. It would appear that 5.9% of Vector Group shares are controlled by hedge funds. That's interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc. with 14% of shares outstanding. With 10% and 9.6% of the shares outstanding respectively, The Vanguard Group, Inc. and Phillip Frost are the second and third largest shareholders. Furthermore, CEO Howard Lorber is the owner of 3.2% of the company's shares.

On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 7 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.

Insider Ownership Of Vector Group

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.

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 information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Vector Group Ltd.. It is very interesting to see that insiders have a meaningful US$333m stake in this US$2.2b business. Most would say this shows a good degree of alignment with shareholders, especially in a company of this size. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 22% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Be aware that Vector Group is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 2 of those are concerning...

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.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.