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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Two Harbors Investment Corp. (NYSE:TWO).
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.
We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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'.
Two Harbors Investment Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
The Independent Director Karen Hammond made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$74k worth of shares at a price of US$13.30 each. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of US$5.50. While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company's future. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. It is generally more encouraging if they paid above the current price, as it suggests they saw value, even at higher levels.
While Two Harbors Investment insiders bought shares during the last year, they didn't sell. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Does Two Harbors Investment Boast High Insider Ownership?
For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Insiders own 0.9% of Two Harbors Investment shares, worth about US$13m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Two Harbors Investment Tell Us?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Two Harbors Investment shares in the last quarter. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Insiders own shares in Two Harbors Investment and we see no evidence to suggest they are worried about the future. So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Two Harbors Investment (including 3 which shouldn't be ignored).
But note: Two Harbors Investment 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.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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