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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR).
What Is Insider Selling?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. 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 Aqua America
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Chairman Christopher Franklin bought US$835k worth of shares at a price of US$32.86 per share. We do like to see buying, but this purchase was made at well below the current price of US$43.04. Because it occurred at a lower valuation, it doesn't tell us much about whether insiders might find today's price attractive.
Over the last year, we can see that insiders have bought 44636.86 shares worth US$1.5m. Aqua America insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. 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.
Does Aqua America 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. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Aqua America insiders own about US$24m worth of shares. That equates to 0.3% of the company. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Aqua America Insiders?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Aqua America shares in the last quarter. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. Insiders do have a stake in Aqua America and their transactions don't cause us concern. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Aqua America, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity 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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.