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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ:WABC).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
Westamerica Bancorporation Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Lead Independent Director, Edward Sylvester, sold US$331k worth of shares at a price of US$66.13 per share. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. The silver lining is that this sell-down took place above the latest price (US$53.98). So it may not tell us anything about how insiders feel about the current share price. Edward Sylvester was the only individual insider to sell over the last year.
You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Have Westamerica Bancorporation Insiders Traded Recently?
There was some insider buying at Westamerica Bancorporation over the last quarter. Independent Director Michele Hassid purchased US$9.8k worth of shares in that period. It's good to see the insider buying, as well as the lack of recent sellers. However, in this case the amount invested recently is quite small.
Does Westamerica Bancorporation 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. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Insiders own 4.0% of Westamerica Bancorporation shares, worth about US$57m. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.
So What Do The Westamerica Bancorporation Insider Transactions Indicate?
Our data shows a little insider buying, but no selling, in the last three months. The net investment is not enough to encourage us much. We don't take much encouragement from the transactions by Westamerica Bancorporation insiders. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. In addition to knowing about insider transactions going on, it's beneficial to identify the risks facing Westamerica Bancorporation. You'd be interested to know, that we found 1 warning sign for Westamerica Bancorporation and we suggest you have a look.
But note: Westamerica Bancorporation 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.
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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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