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Read This Before Buying DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE) Shares

Simply Wall St

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We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE).

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

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 would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'

View our latest analysis for DTE Energy

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At DTE Energy

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the , Jeffrey Jewell, for US$503k worth of shares, at about US$120 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$126, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. 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. It is worth noting that this sale was only 24.8% of Jeffrey Jewell's holding.

In total, DTE Energy insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NYSE:DTE Recent Insider Trading, May 12th 2019

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

DTE Energy Insiders Are Selling The Stock

Over the last three months, we've seen notably more insider selling, than insider buying, at DTE Energy. In total, insiders sold US$709k worth of shares in that time. Meanwhile Director Ruth Shaw bought US$249k worth, as we said above. Because the selling vastly outweighs the buying, we'd say this is a somewhat bearish sign.

Insider Ownership of DTE Energy

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. DTE Energy insiders own about US$164m worth of shares (which is 0.7% of the company). Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At DTE Energy Tell Us?

The insider sales have outweighed the insider buying, at DTE Energy, in the last three months. And our longer term analysis of insider transactions didn't bring confidence, either. But since DTE Energy 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 DTE Energy.

But note: DTE Energy 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.

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.