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Did Heritage Commerce Corp (NASDAQ:HTBK) Insiders Sell Shares?

Simply Wall St

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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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Heritage Commerce Corp (NASDAQ:HTBK).

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 Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'

Check out our latest analysis for Heritage Commerce

Heritage Commerce Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Director, Robert Moles, for US$669k worth of shares, at about US$13.54 per share. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$11.80. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take price at a lower price. Given that the sale took place at around current prices, it makes us a little cautious but is hardly a major concern.

Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid US$737k for 52759 shares. On the other hand they divested 106k shares, for US$1.5m. In total, Heritage Commerce insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. 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!

NasdaqGS:HTBK Recent Insider Trading, May 14th 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Does Heritage Commerce Boast High Insider Ownership?

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Heritage Commerce insiders own about US$21m worth of shares. That equates to 3.9% of the company. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Heritage Commerce Insiders?

There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. Still, the insider transactions at Heritage Commerce in the last 12 months are not very heartening. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. 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 Heritage Commerce 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.