We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:WASH).
What Is Insider Buying?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. 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 equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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.'
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Washington Trust Bancorp
The Director, Katherine Hoxsie, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$89k worth of shares at a price of US$59.02 each. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take place at a lower price. It's of some comfort that this sale was conducted at a price well above the current share price, which is US$47.20. So it is hard to draw any strong conclusion from it.
In total, Washington Trust Bancorp 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!
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).
Does Washington Trust Bancorp Boast High 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. It's great to see that Washington Trust Bancorp insiders own 14% of the company, worth about US$116m. Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Washington Trust Bancorp Tell Us?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. It's heartening that insiders own plenty of stock, but we'd like to see more insider buying, since the last year of Washington Trust Bancorp insider transactions don't fill us with confidence. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Washington Trust Bancorp, 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.
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 email@example.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.