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Have Insiders Been Selling United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI) Shares?

Simply Wall St

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

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'.

See our latest analysis for United Rentals

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At United Rentals

The Non-Executive Chairman, Michael Kneeland, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$4.0m worth of shares at a price of US$133 each. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$117. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. Given that the sale took place at around current prices, it makes us a little cautious but is hardly a major concern.

Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid US$1.0m for 8837 shares. But insiders sold 52438 shares worth US$6.8m. Over the last year we saw more insider selling of United Rentals shares, than buying. 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!

NYSE:URI Recent Insider Trading, October 8th 2019

If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Insiders at United Rentals Have Bought Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider buying at United Rentals. Overall, three insiders shelled out US$842k for shares in the company -- and none sold. That shows some optimism about the company's future.

Does United Rentals Boast High Insider Ownership?

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Insiders own 0.5% of United Rentals shares, worth about US$41m. 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 United Rentals Insider Transactions Indicate?

The recent insider purchases are heartening. But we can't say the same for the transactions over the last 12 months. While recent transactions indicate confidence in United Rentals, insiders don't own enough of the company to overcome our cautiousness about the longer term transactions. So they seem pretty well aligned, overall. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for United Rentals.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting 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.