Did Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBSH) Insiders Sell Shares?

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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. On the other hand, we’d be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So before you buy or sell Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBSH), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

We don’t think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. As Peter Lynch said, ‘insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise.’

View our latest analysis for Commerce Bancshares

Commerce Bancshares Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by Director Jonathan Kemper for US$3.2m worth of shares, at about US$67.95 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$59.80. While their view may have changed since the sale, this is not a particularly positive fact. Arguably, insider selling at around current prices should give us reason to reflect on whether the stock is fully valued at the moment.

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 209.71k shares worth US$13m. All up, insiders sold more shares in Commerce Bancshares than they bought, over the last year. The sellers received a price of around US$62.00, on average. We don’t gain much confidence from insider selling near the recent share price. But we don’t put too much weight on the insider selling, since sellers could have personal reasons. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NASDAQGS:CBSH Insider Trading February 1st 19
NASDAQGS:CBSH Insider Trading February 1st 19

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Commerce Bancshares Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last three months saw significant insider selling at Commerce Bancshares. In total, insiders sold US$1.6m worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. In light of this it’s hard to argue that all the directors think that the shares are a bargain.

Insider Ownership

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Commerce Bancshares insiders own 3.6% of the company, currently worth about US$238m based on the recent share price. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.

So What Do The Commerce Bancshares Insider Transactions Indicate?

Insiders sold Commerce Bancshares shares recently, but they didn’t buy any. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn’t show any insider buying. On the plus side, Commerce Bancshares makes money, and is growing profits. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Commerce Bancshares.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.