It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 US Ecology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECOL).
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 in the company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. As Peter Lynch said, 'insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At US Ecology
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Independent Director E. Conley for US$100k worth of shares, at about US$37.75 per share. That implies that an insider found the current price of US$40.94 per share to be enticing. Of course they may have changed their mind. But this suggests they are optimistic. If someone buys shares at well below current prices, it's a good sign on balance, but keep in mind they may no longer see value. In this case we're pleased to report that the insider purchases were made at close to current prices.
Over the last year, we can see that insiders have bought 7.75k shares worth US$277k. But insiders sold 1.10k shares worth US$40k. Overall, US Ecology insiders were net buyers during the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and 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!
There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Does US Ecology 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. 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 US Ecology insiders own 1.0% of the company, worth about US$13m. 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 US Ecology Insider Transactions Indicate?
The fact that there have been no US Ecology insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. Overall we don't see anything to make us think US Ecology insiders are doubting the company, and they do own shares. Therefore, you should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for US Ecology.
But note: US Ecology 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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