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Need To Know: Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (NYSE:AGM) Insiders Have Been Selling 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. The flip side of that is that there are more than a few examples of insiders dumping stock prior to a period of weak performance. So before you buy or sell Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (NYSE:AGM), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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.'

View our latest analysis for Federal Agricultural Mortgage

Federal Agricultural Mortgage Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Executive VP & Chief Credit Officer, John Covington, sold US$133k worth of shares at a price of US$67.98 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$74.92). 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. It is worth noting that this sale was only 13.2% of John Covington's holding. The only individual insider seller over the last year was John Covington.

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:AGM Recent Insider Trading, August 8th 2019

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

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 1.9% of Federal Agricultural Mortgage shares, worth about US$15m. 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 Does This Data Suggest About Federal Agricultural Mortgage Insiders?

There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. Still, the insider transactions at Federal Agricultural Mortgage in the last 12 months are not very heartening. But it's good to see that insiders own shares in the company. 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: Federal Agricultural Mortgage 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.

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.