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Read This Before Buying BOK Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:BOKF) 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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in BOK Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:BOKF).

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'.

View our latest analysis for BOK Financial

BOK Financial Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Notably, that recent sale by insider Steven Bangert was not the only time they sold BOK Financial shares this year. Earlier in the year, they fetched US$86.84 per share in a -US$868.4k sale. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$75.35. While insider selling is a negative, to us, it is more negative if the shares are sold at a lower price. In this case, the big sale took place at around the current price, so it's not too bad (but it's still not a positive).

In the last twelve months insiders purchased 8300 shares for US$675k. On the other hand they divested 32485 shares, for US$2.6m. Over the last year we saw more insider selling of BOK Financial shares, than buying. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

NasdaqGS:BOKF Recent Insider Trading, August 26th 2019

I will like BOK Financial better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

Insiders at BOK Financial Have Sold Stock Recently

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of BOK Financial shares. In total, Steven Bangert dumped US$686k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it's not the be all and end all.

Insider Ownership of BOK Financial

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. It's great to see that BOK Financial insiders own 55% of the company, worth about US$3.0b. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About BOK Financial Insiders?

An insider hasn't bought BOK Financial stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. And our longer term analysis of insider transactions didn't bring confidence, either. But since BOK Financial is profitable and growing, we're not too worried by this. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for BOK Financial.

But note: BOK Financial 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.