U.S. Markets close in 4 hrs 39 mins

Read This Before Buying United Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBSI) Shares

Simply Wall St

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 United Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBSI).

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.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. 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.’

Check out our latest analysis for United Bankshares

United Bankshares Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when Director Peter Converse sold US$849k worth of shares at a price of US$37.90 per share. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$37.88. They might be selling for a variety of reasons, but it’s hard to argue this is a bullish sign. Arguably, insider selling at around current prices should give us reason to reflect on whether the stock is fully valued at the moment. Peter Converse was the only individual insider to sell over the last year.

Over the last year, we can see that insiders have bought 1.24k shares worth US$37k. But they sold 22.50k for US$849k. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NasdaqGS:UBSI Recent Insider Trading, February 27th 2019

United Bankshares is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Insiders at United Bankshares Have Bought Stock Recently

We saw some United Bankshares insider buying shares in the last three months. Insiders shelled out US$37k for shares in that time. We like it when there are only buyers, and no sellers. But in this case the amount purchased means the recent transaction may not be very meaningful on its own.

Does United Bankshares Boast High Insider Ownership?

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. United Bankshares insiders own about US$86m worth of shares. That equates to 2.2% 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 Does This Data Suggest About United Bankshares Insiders?

We note a that there has been a tad more insider buying than selling, recently. But overall the difference isn’t worth writing home about. Our analysis of United Bankshares insider transactions leaves us cautious. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. 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.

But note: United Bankshares 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.