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Have Insiders Been Selling American Electric Power Company, Inc. (NYSE:AEP) Shares?

Simply Wall St

We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell American Electric Power Company, Inc. (NYSE:AEP), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

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 don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.

Check out our latest analysis for American Electric Power Company

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At American Electric Power Company

The Executive VP & CFO, Brian Tierney, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$400k worth of shares at a price of US$89.73 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of US$94.48. When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. Please do note, however, that sellers may have a variety of reasons for selling, so we don't know for sure what they think of the stock price. This single sale was just 8.8% of Brian Tierney's stake.

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 20887 shares worth US$1.8m. American Electric Power Company insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. 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!

NYSE:AEP Recent Insider Trading, October 22nd 2019

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

American Electric Power Company Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last three months saw significant insider selling at American Electric Power Company. In total, insiders dumped US$511k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it's not the be all and end all.

Insider Ownership of American Electric Power Company

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Insiders own 0.06% of American Electric Power Company shares, worth about US$28m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.

What Might The Insider Transactions At American Electric Power Company Tell Us?

Insiders sold American Electric Power Company shares recently, but they didn't buy any. And even if we look to the last year, we didn't see any purchases. On the plus side, American Electric Power Company makes money, and is growing profits. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. We're in no rush to buy! 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.

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.

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.