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A look at the shareholders of Gladstone Commercial Corporation (NASDAQ:GOOD) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of US$561m, Gladstone Commercial is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Gladstone Commercial.

See our latest analysis for Gladstone Commercial

ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Gladstone Commercial?

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.

Gladstone Commercial 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. 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 Gladstone Commercial, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. It would appear that 7.2% of Gladstone Commercial 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 The Vanguard Group, Inc. with 10% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 8.1% and 7.3% of the stock. Furthermore, CEO David Gladstone is the owner of 1.4% of the company’s shares.

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 are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of Gladstone Commercial

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.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

I can report that insiders do own shares in Gladstone Commercial Corporation. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$10.0m worth of the US$561m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 40% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Gladstone Commercial. 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:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Gladstone Commercial better, we need to consider many other factors. Be aware that Gladstone Commercial is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about…

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.

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