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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. 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 it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Ameris Bancorp
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Director Elizabeth McCague bought US$50k worth of shares at a price of US$50.20 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of US$37.90. It's very possible they regret the purchase, but it's more likely they are bullish about the company. To us, it's very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when insiders have purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price.
In the last twelve months insiders paid US$99k for 2300 shares purchased. In the last twelve months Ameris Bancorp insiders were buying shares, but not selling. Their average price was about US$42.85. These transactions suggest that insiders have considered the current price attractive. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Insiders at Ameris Bancorp Have Bought Stock Recently
There was some insider buying at Ameris Bancorp over the last quarter. Elizabeth McCague purchased US$30k worth of shares in that period. We like it when there are only buyers, and no sellers. However, in this case the amount invested recently is quite small.
Insider Ownership of Ameris Bancorp
For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Ameris Bancorp insiders own 6.1% of the company, currently worth about US$159m based on the recent share price. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Ameris Bancorp Tell Us?
Our data shows a little insider buying, but no selling, in the last three months. That said, the purchases were not large. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. It would be great to see more insider buying, but overall it seems like Ameris Bancorp insiders are reasonably well aligned (owning significant chunk of the company's shares) and optimistic for the future. 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.
But note: Ameris Bancorp may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.
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.
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 email@example.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.