Some Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ) shareholders may be a little concerned to see that the Executive VP & COO, Gene Mergelmeyer, recently sold a substantial US$6.5m worth of stock at a price of US$159 per share. That sale reduced their total holding by 33% which is hardly insignificant, but far from the worst we've seen.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Assurant
In fact, the recent sale by Gene Mergelmeyer was the biggest sale of Assurant shares made by an insider individual in the last twelve months, according to our records. So we know that an insider sold shares at around the present share price of US$157. While insider selling is a negative, to us, it is more negative if the shares are sold 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).
Over the last year we saw more insider selling of Assurant shares, than buying. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Insider Ownership of Assurant
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. Assurant insiders own 1.1% of the company, currently worth about US$103m based on the recent share price. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Assurant Insiders?
Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And our longer term analysis of insider transactions didn't bring confidence, either. But it is good to see that Assurant is growing earnings. The company boasts high insider ownership, but we're a little hesitant, given the history of share sales. 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 assist with this, we've discovered 1 warning sign that you should run your eye over to get a better picture of Assurant.
Of course Assurant 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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