Read This Before Buying WEX Inc. (NYSE:WEX) Shares

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. On the other hand, we’d be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So we’ll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in WEX Inc. (NYSE:WEX).

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, 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 equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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.’

View our latest analysis for WEX

WEX Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by Chief Portfolio Risk & Operations Officer Kenneth Janosick for US$2.0m worth of shares, at about US$190 per share. While the sale doesn’t make us feel confident, we do note it was conducted at a price well above the current share price, which is US$145. So it is hard to draw any strong conclusion from it.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 31.59k shares for a total of US$5.9m. In total, WEX insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. The average sell price was around US$186. It is certainly not great to see that insiders have sold shares in the company. However, we do note that the average sale price was significantly higher than the current share price (which is US$145). You can see the insider transactions (by 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!

NYSE:WEX Insider Trading January 8th 19
NYSE:WEX Insider Trading January 8th 19

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Does WEX 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. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Insiders own 1.0% of WEX shares, worth about US$62m. 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 WEX Insider Transactions Indicate?

There haven’t been any insider transactions in the last three months — that doesn’t mean much. Still, the insider transactions at WEX in the last 12 months are not very heartening. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for WEX.

But note: WEX 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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.