We’ve lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. The flip side of that is that there are more than a few examples of insiders dumping stock prior to a period of weak performance. So before you buy or sell Saul Centers, Inc. (NYSE:BFS), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Buying?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Columbia University study found that ‘insiders are more likely to engage in open market purchases of their own company’s stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers’.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Saul Centers
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when President Bernard Saul bought US$192k worth of shares at a price of US$53.66 per share. So it’s clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being US$28.02). Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. To us, it’s very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock if insiders have bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price.
Saul Centers insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn’t sell any. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Have Saul Centers Insiders Traded Recently?
Over the last three months, we’ve seen a bit of insider buying at Saul Centers. Senior VP of Residential & Director Willoughby Laycock bought US$5.0k worth of shares in that time. It’s good to see the insider buying, as well as the lack of recent sellers. But the amount invested in the last three months isn’t enough for us too put much weight on it, as a single factor.
Does Saul Centers Boast High Insider Ownership?
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It appears that Saul Centers insiders own 1.8% of the company, worth about US$16m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it’s enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Saul Centers Insiders?
We note a that there has been a bit of insider buying recently (but no selling). The net investment is not enough to encourage us much. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. Overall we don’t see anything to make us think Saul Centers insiders are doubting the company, and they do own shares. So while it’s helpful to know what insiders are doing in terms of buying or selling, it’s also helpful to know the risks that a particular company is facing. Be aware that Saul Centers is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 1 of those shouldn’t be ignored…
But note: Saul Centers may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.
For the purposes of this article, insiders are those individuals who report their transactions to the relevant regulatory body. We currently account for open market transactions and private dispositions, but not derivative transactions.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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