Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) shareholders might have a reason to worry after multiple insiders sold their shares over the last year. When evaluating insider transactions, knowing whether insiders are buying versus if they selling is usually more beneficial, as the latter can be open to many interpretations. However, shareholders should take a deeper look if several insiders are selling stock over a specific time period.
Although we don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether.
Equity Residential Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Senior VP & Chief Accounting Officer, Ian Kaufman, sold US$338k worth of shares at a price of US$80.00 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$90.83, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can't be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it's only a weak sign. It is worth noting that this sale was only 21% of Ian Kaufman's holding.
In the last year Equity Residential insiders didn't buy any company stock. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with 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 Equity Residential insiders own 1.2% of the company, worth about US$427m. 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 Do The Equity Residential Insider Transactions Indicate?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. While we feel good about high insider ownership of Equity Residential, we can't say the same about the selling of shares. 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. For example, Equity Residential has 4 warning signs (and 2 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.