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Peoples Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:PEBO) Insiders Have Been Selling

Brandon Murphy

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 before you buy or sell Peoples Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:PEBO), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Selling?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. 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 Harvard University study found that ‘insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.’

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Peoples Bancorp Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when Vice Chairman of the Board George Broughton sold US$295k worth of shares at a price of US$34.15 per share. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$31.28. They might be selling for a variety of reasons, but it’s hard to argue this is a bullish sign. We usually pause to reflect on the potential that a stock has a high valuation, if insiders have been selling at around the current price. George Broughton was the only individual insider to sell over the last year.

Over the last year, we can see that insiders have bought 2.07k shares worth US$70k. But insiders sold 9.66k shares worth US$331k. George Broughton sold a total of 9.66k shares over the year at an average price of US$34.22. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NasdaqGS:PEBO Insider Trading January 11th 19

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

Peoples Bancorp Insiders Are Selling The Stock

We’ve seen more insider selling than insider buying at Peoples Bancorp recently. In that time, George Broughton dumped US$295k worth of shares. On the other hand we note S. Beam bought US$2.1k worth of shares. Since the selling really does outweigh the buying, we’d say that these transactions may suggest that some insiders feel the shares are not cheap.

Insider Ownership of Peoples Bancorp

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Insiders own 2.9% of Peoples Bancorp shares, worth about US$18m. We’ve certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Peoples Bancorp Insiders?

Unfortunately, there has been more insider selling of Peoples Bancorp stock, than buying, in the last three months. And our longer term analysis of insider transactions didn’t bring confidence, either. But it is good to see that Peoples Bancorp is growing earnings. Insiders own shares, but we’re still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. We’re in no rush to buy! Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Peoples Bancorp, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.