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Did Saul Centers, Inc. (NYSE:BFS) Insiders Sell Shares?

Hector Vargas

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Saul Centers, Inc. (NYSE:BFS).

What Is Insider Buying?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. 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.’

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Saul Centers Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by Senior VP Scott Schneider for US$85k worth of shares, at about US$59.67 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$50.53. They might be selling for a variety of reasons, but it’s hard to argue this is a bullish sign. Arguably, insider selling at around current prices should give us reason to reflect on whether the stock is fully valued at the moment.

All up, insiders sold more shares in Saul Centers than they bought, over the last year. The sellers received a price of around US$57.90, on average. It’s not particularly great to see insiders were selling shares at below recent prices. Of course, the sales could be motivated for a multitude of reasons, so we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. 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:BFS Insider Trading January 17th 19

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Insiders at Saul Centers Have Sold Stock Recently

The last three months saw some Saul Centers insider selling. Scott Schneider sold just US$44k worth of shares in that time. Neither the lack of buying nor the presence of selling is heartening. But the amount sold isn’t enough for us to put any weight on it.

Insider Ownership

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It appears that Saul Centers insiders own 1.9% of the company, worth about US$29m. 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 Saul Centers Insiders?

We note a that there’s been a little more insider selling than buying, recently. But the difference isn’t enough to have us worried. We’re a little cautious about the insider selling at Saul Centers. But we do like the fact that insiders own a fair chunk of the company. 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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.