If you want to know who really controls The York Water Company (NASDAQ:YORW), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are individual investors with 51% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.
Meanwhile, institutions make up 48% of the company’s shareholders. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies.
Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about York Water.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About York Water?
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.
York Water already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in 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 York Water's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in York Water. The company's largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc., with ownership of 9.4%. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 6.3% and 4.1% of the stock.
Our studies suggest that the top 25 shareholders collectively control less than half of the company's shares, meaning that the company's shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.
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 is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.
Insider Ownership Of York Water
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. 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.
We can see that insiders own shares in The York Water Company. In their own names, insiders own US$8.6m worth of stock in the US$640m company. This shows at least some alignment. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a substantial 51% stake in York Water, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. This level of ownership gives investors from the wider public some power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and the dividend payout ratio.
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. Be aware that York Water is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is a bit concerning...
Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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.
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