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Are Insiders Buying Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ:SFNC) Stock?

Simply Wall St

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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ:SFNC).

What Is Insider Selling?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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.'

Check out our latest analysis for Simmons First National

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Simmons First National

Chairman & CEO George Makris made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$249k worth of shares at a price of US$24.85 each. That means that even when the share price was higher than US$23.68 (the recent price), an insider wanted to purchase shares. It's very possible they regret the purchase, but it's more likely they are bullish about the company. In our view, the price an insider pays for shares is very important. 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.

Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid US$462k for 18500 shares. On the other hand they divested 5000 shares, for US$151k. Overall, Simmons First National insiders were net buyers last year. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NasdaqGS:SFNC Recent Insider Trading, June 5th 2019

There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Simmons First National Insiders Bought Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider buying at Simmons First National. Not only was there no selling that we can see, but they collectively bought US$172k worth of shares. This could be interpreted as suggesting a positive outlook.

Insider Ownership of Simmons First National

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Simmons First National insiders own about US$42m worth of shares. That equates to 1.8% 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 Simmons First National Insiders?

The recent insider purchases are heartening. We also take confidence from the longer term picture of insider transactions. When combined with notable insider ownership, these factors suggest Simmons First National insiders are well aligned, and that they may think the share price is too low. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Simmons First National.

But note: Simmons First National 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.

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.