We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell Chemung Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CHMG), 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.
We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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 Chemung Financial
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Director Ronald Bentley for US$196k worth of shares, at about US$26.20 per share. We do like to see buying, but this purchase was made at well below the current price of US$35.18. Because the shares were purchased at a lower price, this particular buy doesn't tell us much about how insiders feel about the current share price.
While Chemung Financial insiders bought shares during the last year, they didn't sell. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. 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.
Insiders at Chemung Financial Have Bought Stock Recently
We saw some Chemung Financial insider buying shares in the last three months. Independent Director G. Tranter purchased US$18k worth of shares in that period. It's great to see that insiders are only buying, not selling. However, in this case the amount invested recently is quite small.
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Chemung Financial insiders own about US$33m worth of shares. That equates to 21% of the company. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Chemung Financial Tell Us?
Insider purchases may have been minimal, in the last three months, but there was no selling at all. That said, the purchases were not large. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Overall we don't see anything to make us think Chemung Financial insiders are doubting the company, and they do own shares. So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. You'd be interested to know, that we found 1 warning sign for Chemung Financial and we suggest you have a look.
Of course Chemung Financial may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.
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.
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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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