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Should You Take Comfort From Insider Transactions At Park National Corporation (NYSEMKT:PRK)?

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Simply Wall St
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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 before you buy or sell Park National Corporation (NYSEMKT:PRK), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

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 don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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'.

See our latest analysis for Park National

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Park National

Independent Director James DeRoberts made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$301k worth of shares at a price of US$94.00 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, at around the current price, which is US$101. 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. The good news for Park National share holders is that an insider was buying at near the current price. James DeRoberts was the only individual insider to buy shares in the last twelve months.

You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

AMEX:PRK Recent Insider Trading, January 8th 2020
AMEX:PRK Recent Insider Trading, January 8th 2020

Park National is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Insiders at Park National Have Sold Stock Recently

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Park National shares. Specifically, Director Timothy McLain ditched US$52k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.

Does Park National Boast High 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. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Park National insiders own about US$35m worth of shares. That equates to 2.1% of the company. 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 Park National Insiders?

An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. On the other hand, the insider transactions over the last year are encouraging. And insiders do own shares. So the recent selling doesn't worry us too much. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Park National.

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

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.