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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE:WBS).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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 it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Webster Financial
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, James Smith, for US$3.0m worth of shares, at about US$55.20 per share. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$51.96. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take place at a lower price. In this case, the big sale took place at around the current price, so it's not too bad (but it's still not a positive).
Webster Financial insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Webster Financial Insiders Are Selling The Stock
The last three months saw significant insider selling at Webster Financial. In total, insiders dumped US$412k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.
Insider Ownership of Webster 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. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Webster Financial insiders own about US$51m worth of shares. That equates to 1.1% of the company. 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 Webster Financial 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 Webster Financial 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, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting 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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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. Thank you for reading.
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