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Insiders may be rethinking their US$11m American Assets Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AAT) investment now that the company has lost US$90m in value

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Insiders who bought US$11m worth of American Assets Trust, Inc.'s (NYSE:AAT) stock at an average buy price of US$36.53 over the last year may be disappointed by the recent 4.3% decrease in the stock. This is not good as insiders invest based on expectations that their money will appreciate over time. However, as a result of recent losses, their original investment is now worth only US$10m.

While we would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing, we do think it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing.

View our latest analysis for American Assets Trust

American Assets Trust Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Chairman & CEO Ernest Rady for US$1.1m worth of shares, at about US$37.06 per share. That means that even when the share price was higher than US$32.89 (the recent price), an insider wanted to purchase shares. Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. In our view, the price an insider pays for shares is very important. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when an insider has purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price. Ernest Rady was the only individual insider to buy shares in the last twelve months.

Ernest Rady bought a total of 312.95k shares over the year at an average price of US$36.53. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

insider-trading-volume
insider-trading-volume

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

Does American Assets Trust Boast High Insider Ownership?

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. American Assets Trust insiders own about US$270m worth of shares (which is 11% of the company). I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

So What Do The American Assets Trust Insider Transactions Indicate?

It is good to see the recent insider purchase. And the longer term insider transactions also give us confidence. Once you factor in the high insider ownership, it certainly seems like insiders are positive about American Assets Trust. Looks promising! So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for American Assets Trust you should be aware of, and 1 of these is a bit concerning.

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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.