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Are Insiders Selling Heritage Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:HFWA) Stock?

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Simply Wall St
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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. The flip side of that is that there are more than a few examples of insiders dumping stock prior to a period of weak performance. So before you buy or sell Heritage Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:HFWA), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Selling?

It’s quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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 it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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.’

See our latest analysis for Heritage Financial

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Heritage Financial

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by CEO & Director Brian Vance for US$518k worth of shares, at about US$34.74 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$33.04. They could have a variety of motivations for selling, but it’s still not particularly encouraging to see. We usually pause to reflect on the potential that a stock has a high valuation, if insiders have been selling at around the current price.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 32.76k shares for a total of US$1.1m. Over the last year we saw more insider selling of Heritage Financial shares, than buying. They sold for an average price of about US$34.60. It’s not ideal to see that insiders have sold at around the current price. While some insiders have decided to take some money off the table, we wouldn’t put too much weight on this fact. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NasdaqGS:HFWA Recent Insider Trading, February 28th 2019
NasdaqGS:HFWA Recent Insider Trading, February 28th 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insiders at Heritage Financial Have Sold Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we’ve seen significant insider selling at Heritage Financial. Specifically, insiders ditched US$622k worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.

Insider Ownership

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It appears that Heritage Financial insiders own 1.6% of the company, worth about US$19m. We’ve certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

So What Do The Heritage Financial Insider Transactions Indicate?

Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven’t been buying. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn’t show any insider buying. But since Heritage Financial is profitable and growing, we’re not too worried by this. Insiders own shares, but we’re still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. 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.

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.