Stock Analysis

Need To Know: West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE:WST) Insiders Have Been Selling Shares

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NYSE:WST
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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. 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 West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE:WST).

What Is Insider Buying?

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, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

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 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'.

See our latest analysis for West Pharmaceutical Services

West Pharmaceutical Services Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

The Senior VP and Chief Operations & Supply Chain Officer, David Montecalvo, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$1.1m worth of shares at a price of US$271 each. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$265. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. We note that this sale took place at around the current price, so it isn't a major concern, though it's hardly a good sign.

West Pharmaceutical Services insiders didn't buy any shares 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 click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

insider-trading-volume
NYSE:WST Insider Trading Volume December 15th 2020

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insider Ownership of West Pharmaceutical Services

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company 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's great to see that West Pharmaceutical Services insiders own 0.6% of the company, worth about US$116m. Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About West Pharmaceutical Services Insiders?

It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded West Pharmaceutical Services shares in the last quarter. While we feel good about high insider ownership of West Pharmaceutical Services, we can't say the same about the selling of shares. 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 West Pharmaceutical Services 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 currently account for open market transactions and private dispositions, but not derivative transactions.

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