Have Insiders Been Selling Territorial Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:TBNK) Shares?

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We’ve lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Territorial Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:TBNK).

What Is Insider Selling?

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.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that ‘insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.’

See our latest analysis for Territorial Bancorp

Territorial Bancorp Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Chairman, Allan Kitagawa, sold US$204k worth of shares at a price of US$27.70 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$29.96, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it’s only a weak signal. It is worth noting that this sale was only 3.4% of Allan Kitagawa’s holding.

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 30400 shares worth US$839k. In the last year Territorial Bancorp insiders didn’t buy any company stock. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

NasdaqGS:TBNK Recent Insider Trading, July 17th 2019
NasdaqGS:TBNK Recent Insider Trading, July 17th 2019

Insiders at Territorial Bancorp Have Sold Stock Recently

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Territorial Bancorp shares. In total, insiders sold US$432k 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 insiders think that the shares are a bargain.

Insider Ownership of Territorial Bancorp

I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with 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. It appears that Territorial Bancorp insiders own 8.7% of the company, worth about US$24m. 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 Territorial Bancorp Insiders?

Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven’t been buying. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn’t show any insider buying. But since Territorial Bancorp is profitable and growing, we’re not too worried by this. Insider ownership isn’t particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. We’d think twice before buying! If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

Of course Territorial Bancorp 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 aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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. Thank you for reading.