The big shareholder groups in Vericity, Inc. (NASDAQ:VERY) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. 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.
Vericity is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$125m, which means it wouldn't have the attention of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions don't own many shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Vericity.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Vericity?
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.
Since institutions own only a small portion of Vericity, many may not have spent much time considering the stock. But it's clear that some have; and they liked it enough to buy in. If the company is growing earnings, that may indicate that it is just beginning to catch the attention of these deep-pocketed investors. When multiple institutional investors want to buy shares, we often see a rising share price. The past revenue trajectory (shown below) can be an indication of future growth, but there are no guarantees.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in Vericity. Our data shows that J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC is the largest shareholder with 76% of shares outstanding. With such a huge stake in the ownership, we infer that they have significant control of the future of the company. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 4.2% and 2.2% of the stock. James Hohmann, who is the second-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Chief Executive Officer.
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. As far I can tell there isn't analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.
Insider Ownership Of Vericity
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
We can see that insiders own shares in Vericity, Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$11m worth of the US$125m company. This shows at least some alignment, but I usually like to see larger insider holdings. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 13% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
Private Equity Ownership
With a stake of 76%, private equity firms could influence the Vericity board. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.
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 instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Vericity that you should be aware of.
Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.
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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