We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. The flip side of that is that there are more than a few examples of insiders dumping stock prior to a period of weak performance. So we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in HomeStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ:HMST).
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, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At HomeStreet
The Independent Director Mark Patterson made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$596k worth of shares at a price of US$29.79 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, at around the current price, which is US$33.92. While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company's future. While we always like to see insider buying, it's less meaningful if the purchases were made at much lower prices, as the opportunity they saw may have passed. In this case we're pleased to report that the insider purchases were made at close to current prices.
Over the last year, we can see that insiders have bought 106.43k shares worth US$2.8m. But they sold 3.00k shares for US$80k. In total, HomeStreet insiders bought more than they sold over the last year. They paid about US$25.90 on average. To my mind it is good that insiders have invested their own money in the company. But we must note that the investments were made at well below today's share price. 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!
There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Insiders at HomeStreet Have Bought Stock Recently
Over the last quarter, HomeStreet insiders have spent a meaningful amount on shares. In total, insiders bought US$733k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any sales whatsoever. That shows some optimism about the company's future.
Does HomeStreet 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. Insiders own 3.9% of HomeStreet shares, worth about US$29m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
So What Do The HomeStreet Insider Transactions Indicate?
The recent insider purchases are heartening. And an analysis of the transactions over the last year also gives us confidence. Insiders likely see value in HomeStreet shares, given these transactions (along with notable insider ownership of the company). 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 instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for HomeStreet (1 is concerning) you should be aware of.
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.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.