Many investors know that tracking insider and institutional ownership in a publicly traded company can provide significant insight into company happenings and potentially even predict significant company events before they're announced publicly. Unfortunately, many times the ownership breakdown of a large company can be difficult to understand due to the complexity of the SEC filings that document it, the number of insiders and institutions that have a financial interest in the company, and the sheer complexity of the structure of the company itself. The situation is further complicated by the constant change in this internal ownership structure, as insiders and institutional investors exercise options, pay taxes on their holdings, and buy and sell shares in the open market.
On a quest to better understand what a company "looks like" internally, LazyFA developed and recently released a tool to visualize time series insider and institutional ownership, and present it in an easy to absorb format:
The above displays the time series data captured from SEC form 4 filings filed by the top 10 Johnson & Johnson insiders, from 2005 to present. The top chart shows the breakdown of the company's ownership based on number of units held, while the bottom plots each insider's holdings over time. To generate time series data, individual transaction records from the form 4 filings were followed and extrapolated out to the next transaction date, allowing insider ownership to be shown for all significant insiders, in comparison to one another.
The legend across the top allows selecting/deselecting any individual insiders to see the comparison of any combination of interested parties, and any point on the bottom chart can be clicked to update the distribution above to that point in time. Another chart displays similar information for derivative holdings such as options, warrants and other derivative securities:
Insiders aren't the only concern for astute investors though; those investors want to understand institutional behavior as well. For that, LazyFA now allows Pro subscribers to search over 6500 institutional investors, and can display their ownership of eight different types of securities and derivatives over time. For example, here's a quarterly breakdown of Vanguard Group's ownership of Johnson & Johnson common shares:
If you're tracking ownership of derivatives such as options, fund units or warrants, that data is available as well. Here's a quarterly chart of Susquehanna International's call option ownership in Johnson & Johnson over time:
Being able to easily visualize the ownership of major players in a company's stock price - those that have huge financial stakes and significant voting power - is an important factor in making sound and profitable investments. Hopefully, with the help of this new feature, you'll gain a better understanding of exactly who's controlling the purse strings of the investments in your portfolio.