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American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE:AEL) Insiders Have Been Selling

Simply Wall St

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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 Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE:AEL).

What Is Insider Selling?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. 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'.

Check out our latest analysis for American Equity Investment Life Holding

American Equity Investment Life Holding Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Director, Debra Richardson, for US$2.2m worth of shares, at about US$27.40 per share. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$26.82. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take price at a lower price. 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. Debra Richardson was the only individual insider to sell shares in the last twelve months.

You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NYSE:AEL Recent Insider Trading, June 23rd 2019

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).

Does American Equity Investment Life Holding Boast High Insider Ownership?

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. Insiders own 1.7% of American Equity Investment Life Holding shares, worth about US$41m. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At American Equity Investment Life Holding Tell Us?

An insider sold American Equity Investment Life Holding shares recently, but they didn't buy any. And even if we look to the last year, we didn't see any purchases. But since American Equity Investment Life Holding is profitable and growing, we're not too worried by this. While insiders do own shares, they don't own a heap, and they have been selling. So we'd only buy after careful consideration. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for American Equity Investment Life Holding.

Of course American Equity Investment Life Holding 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 aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.