We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in American States Water Company (NYSE:AWR).
What Is Insider Selling?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At American States Water
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the insider, Patrick Scanlon, for US$101k worth of shares, at about US$91.06 per share. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. The good news is that this large sale was at well above current price of US$75.64. So it may not shed much light on insider confidence at current levels.
Insiders in American States Water didn't buy any shares in the last year. 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).
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. Insiders own 1.3% of American States Water shares, worth about US$37m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
So What Do The American States Water Insider Transactions Indicate?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded American States Water shares in the last quarter. Still, the insider transactions at American States Water in the last 12 months are not very heartening. But we do like the fact that insiders own a fair chunk of the company. While we like knowing what's going on with the insider's ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. To assist with this, we've discovered 1 warning sign that you should run your eye over to get a better picture of American States Water.
But note: American States Water 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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