February 8, 2023
Black History Month is a time to celebrate the influence of African American entrepreneurs and investors on the markets. TiiCKER is presenting weekly Insights this month to help individual investors understand the importance of these pioneers and the companies they founded.
Because of the nature of the stock market, it is difficult to identify “Black-owned publicly traded companies,” because public companies are not owned by a single person, but there are opportunities for retail shareholders to invest in public companies that were founded by Black entrepreneurs. There are shockingly few, partly because Black entrepreneurs face obstacles such as a limited access to startup capital, less managerial and industry experience and operating in lower-revenue industries.
There are currently six Black-owned public companies in the U.S., meaning that the company is controlled (50% or more ownership) by African American investors. They include: RLJ Lodging Trust (Tii:RLJ), Urban One (Tii:UONE), Broadway Financial Corp. (Tii:BYFC), Carver Bancorp (Tii:CARV), Axsome Therapeutics (Tii:AXSM) and American Shared Hospital Services (Tii:AMS).
Let’s take a look at them:
RLJ Lodging Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT) with a portfolio of 96 hotels across 23 states and the District of Columbia. RLJ Lodging Trust was founded by Robert L. Johnson and Thomas J. Baltimore Jr. in 2000 as RLJ Development. The company went public in 2011. Its portfolio includes brands such as Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hyatt Place and Wyndham.
Urban One was founded by Cathy Hughes, who we featured in last week’s Insights on Black entrepreneurs. It was founded as Almic Broadcasting in 1979 with a single station, WOL-AM in Washington, D.C. Radio One as it became known sold its first shares of common stock in the 1990s, making Hughes the first Black woman to lead a publicly traded company. In 2017, it became Urban One and has become a multimedia conglomerate.
Broadway Financial Corp. is the holding company for City First Bank. Broadway Federal Bank was founded in 1947 as the Broadway Federal Savings and Loan Association by a group of Los Angeles civic leaders, including real estate broker H.A. Howard and dentist Dr. H. Claude Hudson. In 2021, Broadway Federal Bank merged with City First Bank, which made it the largest Black-owned minority depository institution in the U.S.
Carver Bancorp is the holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank. It was founded by a group of community leaders and small business owners in 1948. It offers consumer and business banking products and services to traditionally underserved African American communities.
Axsome Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical firm founded in 2012 by Dr. Herriot Tabuteau. The company develops therapies for managing central nervous system (CNS) disorders, including migraines, narcolepsy, fibromyalgia, major depressive disorder (MDD), and Alzheimer’s disease-related agitation, in addition to smoking cessation treatment.
American Shared Hospital Services is a technology company working in the healthcare industry. It provides equipment to hospitals and medical centers. The company offers several different financing solutions so that medical institutions can afford the state-of-the-art medical technology that ordinarily might be out of their reach. It specializes in leasing radiosurgery, proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT), and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) equipment.
While Black-owned public companies remain somewhat rare, a growing number of entrepreneurs are working to shift the statistics.
TiiCKER was created for fan-first, brand-first public companies—with exclusive perks served-up weekly to shareholders. Own stock? Connect your brokerage account to view more than 130 perks waiting for you right now!