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Need To Know: American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE:AEL) Insiders Have Been Selling Shares

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. 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 before you buy or sell American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE:AEL), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Selling?

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.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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 American Equity Investment Life Holding

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At American Equity Investment Life Holding

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Director, Debra Richardson, for US$2.2m worth of shares, at about US$27.40 per share. So we know that an insider sold shares at around the present share price of US$26.82. 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. Debra Richardson was the only individual insider to sell shares in the last twelve months.

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:AEL Recent Insider Trading, June 23rd 2019

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

Does American Equity Investment Life Holding Boast High 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. Insiders own 1.7% of American Equity Investment Life Holding shares, worth about US$41m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.

So What Do The American Equity Investment Life Holding Insider Transactions Indicate?

An insider hasn't bought American Equity Investment Life Holding stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. But since American Equity Investment Life Holding is profitable and growing, we're not too worried by this. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. So we'd only buy after careful consideration. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in American Equity Investment Life Holding, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course American Equity Investment Life Holding 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 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.