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Should You Take Comfort From Insider Transactions At Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT)?

Simply Wall St

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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT).

What Is Insider Buying?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a 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 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 Essent Group

Essent Group Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Director Robert Glanville made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$72k worth of shares at a price of US$36.48 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, at around the current price, which is US$45.00. That means they have been optimistic about the company in the past, though they may have changed their mind. 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. Happily, the Essent Group insider decided to buy shares at close to current prices. The only individual insider to buy over the last year was Robert Glanville.

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:ESNT Recent Insider Trading, April 11th 2019

Essent Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Insider Ownership

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Essent Group insiders own 3.0% of the company, currently worth about US$131m based on the recent share price. Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.

So What Do The Essent Group Insider Transactions Indicate?

The fact that there have been no Essent Group insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. It would be great to see more insider buying, but overall it seems like Essent Group insiders are reasonably well aligned (owning significant chunk of the company's shares) and optimistic for the future. If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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.