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 Waterstone Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSBF), 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, 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 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 Waterstone Financial
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Independent Director, Kristine Rappé, sold US$252k worth of shares at a price of US$18.08 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$19.97). When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. We note that the biggest single sale was only 34% of Kristine Rappé's holding.
Insiders in Waterstone Financial didn't buy any shares in the last year. 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!
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Insider Ownership of Waterstone Financial
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Insiders own 5.6% of Waterstone Financial shares, worth about US$26m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
So What Do The Waterstone Financial Insider Transactions Indicate?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Waterstone Financial shares in the last quarter. Our analysis of Waterstone Financial insider transactions leaves us cautious. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. 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. To help with this, we've discovered 2 warning signs (1 is potentially serious!) that you ought to be aware of before buying any shares in Waterstone Financial.
But note: Waterstone Financial 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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Waterstone Financial, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for WaterStone Bank SSB that provides various financial services to customers in southeastern Wisconsin, the United States.
Flawless balance sheet second-rate dividend payer.