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It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ:OTTR).
What Is Insider Selling?
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 it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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 Otter Tail
The Senior VP of Manufacturing Platform & President of Varistar John Abbott made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$206k worth of shares at a price of US$41.21 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being US$41.07). Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. To us, it's very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. It is encouraging to see an insider paid above the current price for shares, as it suggests they saw value, even at higher levels. The only individual insider to buy over the last year was John Abbott.
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).
For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Insiders own 1.7% of Otter Tail shares, worth about US$29m. 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 Otter Tail Tell Us?
The fact that there have been no Otter Tail insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. Insiders own shares in Otter Tail and we see no evidence to suggest they are worried about the future. While we like knowing what's going on with the insider's ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Otter Tail you should be aware of.
But note: Otter Tail 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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