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Need To Know: Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE:HE) Insiders Have Been Selling Shares

Simply Wall St

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE:HE).

What Is Insider Buying?

It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

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.

See our latest analysis for Hawaiian Electric Industries

Hawaiian Electric Industries Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

The Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Jeffrey Watanabe, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$252k worth of shares at a price of US$44.24 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of US$45.61. 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. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can't be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it's only a weak sign. This single sale was just 11% of Jeffrey Watanabe's stake.

In the last twelve months insiders netted US$591k for 14000 shares sold. Insiders in Hawaiian Electric Industries didn't buy any shares in the last year. 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:HE Recent Insider Trading, September 27th 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 Hawaiian Electric Industries Have Sold Stock Recently

The last three months saw significant insider selling at Hawaiian Electric Industries. In total, insiders dumped US$377k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.

Does Hawaiian Electric Industries Boast High Insider Ownership?

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Insiders own 1.1% of Hawaiian Electric Industries shares, worth about US$55m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Hawaiian Electric Industries Tell Us?

Insiders sold Hawaiian Electric Industries shares recently, but they didn't buy any. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. On the plus side, Hawaiian Electric Industries makes money, and is growing profits. Insiders own shares, but we're still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. We're in no rush to buy! 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: Hawaiian Electric Industries 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.