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Are Insiders Selling EastGroup Properties, Inc. (NYSE:EGP) Stock?

Jonathon Baker

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It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 EastGroup Properties, Inc. (NYSE:EGP).

What Is Insider Buying?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. For example, a Harvard University study found that ‘insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.’

See our latest analysis for EastGroup Properties

EastGroup Properties Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when Executive VP & Head of Eastern Regional John Coleman sold US$996k worth of shares at a price of US$99.57 per share. So it’s clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of US$106. While their view may have changed since they sold, this isn’t a particularly bullish sign. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price. Please note, however, that this single sale was just 8.4% of John Coleman’s stake.

Over the last year we saw more insider selling of EastGroup Properties shares, than buying. The average sell price was around US$96.01. It’s not particularly great to see insiders were selling shares at below recent prices. But we wouldn’t put too much weight on the insider selling. 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!

NYSE:EGP Insider Trading February 5th 19

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Insiders at EastGroup Properties Have Sold Stock Recently

The last three months saw significant insider selling at EastGroup Properties. In total, insiders sold US$1.6m worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. In light of this it’s hard to argue that all the directors think that the shares are a bargain.

Insider Ownership

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Insiders own 2.2% of EastGroup Properties shares, worth about US$85m. 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 EastGroup Properties Insiders?

Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven’t been buying. And our longer term analysis of insider transactions didn’t bring confidence, either. On the plus side, EastGroup Properties makes money, and is growing profits. Insider ownership isn’t particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. So we’d only buy after careful consideration. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in EastGroup Properties, 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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.