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Have Insiders Been Buying USA Truck, Inc. (NASDAQ:USAK) Shares This Year?

Simply Wall St

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 USA Truck, Inc. (NASDAQ:USAK).

What Is Insider Selling?

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

View our latest analysis for USA Truck

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At USA Truck

CFO & Executive VP Jason Bates made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$186k worth of shares at a price of US$13.75 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being US$3.47). While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company's future. To us, it's very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock if insiders have bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price.

In the last twelve months USA Truck insiders were buying shares, but not selling. The average buy price was around US$10.29. I'd consider this a positive as it suggests insiders see value at around the current price. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NasdaqGS:USAK Recent Insider Trading April 3rd 2020

USA Truck is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

USA Truck Insiders Bought Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider buying at USA Truck. In total, insiders bought US$60k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any sales whatsoever. That shows some optimism about the company's future.

Does USA Truck 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. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Our data indicates that USA Truck insiders own about US$3.3m worth of shares (which is 12% of the company). We do note, however, it is possible insiders have an indirect interest through a private company or other corporate structure. Whilst better than nothing, we're not overly impressed by these holdings.

So What Does This Data Suggest About USA Truck Insiders?

The recent insider purchases are heartening. And an analysis of the transactions over the last year also gives us confidence. But we don't feel the same about the fact the company is making losses. While the overall levels of insider ownership are below what we'd like to see, the history of transactions imply that USA Truck insiders are reasonably well aligned, and optimistic for the future. While we like knowing what's going on with the insider's ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for USA Truck (of which 1 is a bit unpleasant!) you should know about.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.