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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. On the other hand, we'd be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So before you buy or sell AMERISAFE, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF), 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 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. 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 AMERISAFE
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Independent Director Sean Traynor for US$509k worth of shares, at about US$63.59 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of US$62.85. 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. In our view, the price an insider pays for shares is very important. It is encouraging to see an insider paid above the current price for shares, as it suggests they saw value, even at higher levels. Sean Traynor was the only individual insider to buy shares in the last twelve months.
The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
AMERISAFE 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.
Does AMERISAFE 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. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It appears that AMERISAFE insiders own 1.8% of the company, worth about US$22m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
What Might The Insider Transactions At AMERISAFE Tell Us?
The recent insider purchase is heartening. We also take confidence from the longer term picture of insider transactions. When combined with notable insider ownership, these factors suggest AMERISAFE insiders are well aligned, and that they may think the share price is too low. So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. To help with this, we've discovered 2 warning signs (1 is significant!) that you ought to be aware of before buying any shares in AMERISAFE.
Of course AMERISAFE 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 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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