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We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Highwoods Properties, Inc. (NYSE:HIW).
What Is Insider Buying?
Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.
We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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 Highwoods Properties
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Independent Chairman of the Board Carlos Evans bought US$337k worth of shares at a price of US$33.70 per share. Even though the purchase was made at a significantly lower price than the recent price (US$43.38), we still think insider buying is a positive. While it does suggest insiders consider the stock undervalued at lower prices, this transaction doesn't tell us much about what they think of current prices.
Highwoods Properties insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and 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!
Highwoods Properties is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Does Highwoods Properties Boast High Insider Ownership?
Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It appears that Highwoods Properties insiders own 1.3% of the company, worth about US$61m. 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 Does This Data Suggest About Highwoods Properties Insiders?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Overall we don't see anything to make us think Highwoods Properties insiders are doubting the company, and they do own shares. In addition to knowing about insider transactions going on, it's beneficial to identify the risks facing Highwoods Properties. To help with this, we've discovered 3 warning signs (2 make us uncomfortable!) that you ought to be aware of before buying any shares in Highwoods Properties.
But note: Highwoods Properties 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.
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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