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Read This Before Buying Limestone Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:LMST) Shares

Simply Wall St

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Limestone Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:LMST).

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 in the company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.

Check out our latest analysis for Limestone Bancorp

Limestone Bancorp Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

The insider, Jennifer Porter, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$436k worth of shares at a price of US$15.50 each. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$15.15. 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 3200 shares for US$43k. But insiders sold 62000 shares worth US$956k. In total, Limestone Bancorp 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. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NasdaqCM:LMST Recent Insider Trading, October 28th 2019

I will like Limestone Bancorp 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 Limestone Bancorp Have Sold Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we've seen notably more insider selling, than insider buying, at Limestone Bancorp. In total, insiders sold US$956k worth of shares in that time. Meanwhile Independent Director James Parsons bought US$3.1k worth. 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 Limestone 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. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Limestone Bancorp insiders own about US$35m worth of shares. That equates to 31% of the company. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.

So What Do The Limestone Bancorp Insider Transactions Indicate?

Unfortunately, there has been more insider selling of Limestone Bancorp stock, than buying, in the last three months. Zooming out, the longer term picture doesn't give us much comfort. Insiders own shares, but we're still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. So we'd only buy after careful consideration. If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

Of course Limestone Bancorp may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.

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.