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Have Insiders Been Selling Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG) 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG).

What Is Insider Buying?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

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.

View our latest analysis for Republic Services

Republic Services Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the CEO & Director, Donald Slager, sold US$5.8m worth of shares at a price of US$82.66 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$86.11). 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. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. This single sale was just 20% of Donald Slager's stake.

In total, Republic Services insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NYSE:RSG Recent Insider Trading, October 15th 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 Republic Services Have Sold Stock Recently

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Republic Services shares. In total, Executive VP Catharine Ellingsen dumped US$253k 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 insiders think that the shares are a bargain.

Insider Ownership

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Insiders own 0.1% of Republic Services shares, worth about US$40m. 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 Republic Services Insider Transactions Indicate?

An insider hasn't bought Republic Services stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. Despite some insider buying, the longer term picture doesn't make us feel much more positive. While insiders do own shares, they don't own a heap, and they have been selling. We're in no rush to buy! Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Republic Services, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course Republic Services may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.

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.