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Read This Before Buying Territorial Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:TBNK) Shares

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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. 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 Territorial Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:TBNK).

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

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

Check out our latest analysis for Territorial Bancorp

Territorial Bancorp Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

The Chairman, Allan Kitagawa, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$204k worth of shares at a price of US$27.70 each. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$28.54, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. We note that the biggest single sale was only 3.4% of Allan Kitagawa's holding.

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 29692 shares worth US$863k. Territorial Bancorp 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:TBNK Recent Insider Trading, April 18th 2019
NasdaqGS:TBNK Recent Insider Trading, April 18th 2019

If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Insiders at Territorial Bancorp Have Sold Stock Recently

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Territorial Bancorp shares. In total, insiders dumped US$408k 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 Territorial Bancorp

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. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It appears that Territorial Bancorp insiders own 8.5% of the company, worth about US$22m. 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 Territorial Bancorp Insiders?

Insiders haven't bought Territorial Bancorp 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. But it is good to see that Territorial Bancorp is growing earnings. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. We're in no rush to buy! 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 Territorial Bancorp may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.

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.