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Have Insiders Been Selling Provident Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PROV) Shares This Year?

Simply Wall St

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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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Provident Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PROV).

What Is Insider Selling?

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, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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 Provident Financial Holdings

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Provident Financial Holdings

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the President, Donavon Ternes, sold US$100k worth of shares at a price of US$20.05 per share. That means that even when the share price was slightly below the current price of US$20.43, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can't be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it's only a weak sign. This single sale was just 2.6% of Donavon Ternes's stake.

In the last twelve months insiders netted US$135k for 7000 shares sold. In the last year Provident Financial Holdings insiders didn't buy any company stock. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

NasdaqGS:PROV Recent Insider Trading, June 4th 2019

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

Provident Financial Holdings Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last three months saw significant insider selling at Provident Financial Holdings. In total, Donavon Ternes sold US$100k 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

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Provident Financial Holdings insiders own about US$15m worth of shares. That equates to 9.8% of the company. 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 Do The Provident Financial Holdings Insider Transactions Indicate?

An insider 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 Provident Financial Holdings 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. So we'd only buy after careful consideration. 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.

But note: Provident Financial Holdings may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE 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.