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Did AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE:AVB) Insiders Sell Shares?

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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE:AVB).

What Is Insider Buying?

It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. 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'.

View our latest analysis for AvalonBay Communities

AvalonBay Communities Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Chairman, Timothy Naughton, sold US$4.4m worth of shares at a price of US$197 per share. That means that even when the share price was slightly below the current price of US$201, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. Please do note, however, that sellers may have a variety of reasons for selling, so we don't know for sure what they think of the stock price. It is worth noting that this sale was only 13.1% of Timothy Naughton's holding.

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 64775 shares worth US$13m. In the last year AvalonBay Communities insiders didn't buy any company stock. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NYSE:AVB Recent Insider Trading, May 13th 2019

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AvalonBay Communities Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of AvalonBay Communities shares. In total, insiders dumped US$9.4m worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it's not the be all and end all.

Insider Ownership of AvalonBay Communities

I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Insiders own 0.3% of AvalonBay Communities shares, worth about US$87m. 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 Do The AvalonBay Communities Insider Transactions Indicate?

Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. On the plus side, AvalonBay Communities makes money, and is growing profits. Insiders own shares, but we're still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. We're in no rush to buy! Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for AvalonBay Communities.

Of course AvalonBay Communities may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality 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.