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Read This Before Buying United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ:UCBI) 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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ:UCBI).

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, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

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 Community Banks

United Community Banks Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Director Tim Wallis bought US$298k worth of shares at a price of US$29.80 per share. That means that even when the share price was higher than US$25.74 (the recent price), an insider wanted to purchase shares. While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company's future. In our view, the price an insider pays for shares is very important. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when insiders have purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price.

In the last twelve months insiders purchased 11250 shares for US$329k. But insiders sold 19400.83 shares worth US$531k. Over the last year we saw more insider selling of United Community Banks shares, than buying. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

NasdaqGS:UCBI Recent Insider Trading, August 16th 2019

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

United Community Banks Insiders Are Selling The Stock

We have seen a bit of insider selling at United Community Banks, over the last three months. Chief Accounting Officer Alan Kumler divested only US$24k worth of shares in that time. It's not great to see insider selling, nor the lack of recent buyers. But the amount sold isn't enough for us to put any weight on it.

Insider Ownership of United Community Banks

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. United Community Banks insiders own about US$39m worth of shares. That equates to 1.9% of the company. 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 Do The United Community Banks Insider Transactions Indicate?

Our data shows a little more insider selling, but no insider buying, in the last three months. But given the selling was modest, we're not worried. Recent insider selling makes us a little nervous, in light of the broader picture of United Community Banks insider transactions. But it's good to see that insiders own shares in the company. 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, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting 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.