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Read This Before Buying PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT) 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. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Selling?

It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. 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.'

See our latest analysis for PriceSmart

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At PriceSmart

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the , Jose Laparte, for US$1.5m worth of shares, at about US$69.99 per share. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. It's of some comfort that this sale was conducted at a price well above the current share price, which is US$57.35. So it is hard to draw any strong conclusion from it.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 46164 shares for a total of US$3.1m. PriceSmart insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NasdaqGS:PSMT Recent Insider Trading, May 13th 2019

I will like PriceSmart 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 PriceSmart Have Sold Stock Recently

The last three months saw significant insider selling at PriceSmart. Specifically, insiders ditched US$245k 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 PriceSmart

I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. PriceSmart insiders own about US$209m worth of shares (which is 12% of the company). I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At PriceSmart Tell Us?

Insiders haven't bought PriceSmart stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. On the plus side, PriceSmart makes money, and is growing profits. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in PriceSmart, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity 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.