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Read This Before Buying Utah Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:UTMD) Shares

We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 before you buy or sell Utah Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:UTMD), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Selling?

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 it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Columbia University study found that 'insiders are more likely to engage in open market purchases of their own companys stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers'.

View our latest analysis for Utah Medical Products

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Utah Medical Products

The Director, Barbara Payne, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$226k worth of shares at a price of US$92.29 each. That means that an insider was selling shares at below the current price (US$93.92). When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. This single sale was just 10% of Barbara Payne's stake. Barbara Payne was the only individual insider to sell shares in the last twelve months.

Barbara Payne ditched 5094 shares over the year. The average price per share was US$90.65. 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:UTMD Recent Insider Trading, October 3rd 2019
NasdaqGS:UTMD Recent Insider Trading, October 3rd 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insider Ownership

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. It appears that Utah Medical Products insiders own 7.3% of the company, worth about US$25m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.

So What Do The Utah Medical Products Insider Transactions Indicate?

The fact that there have been no Utah Medical Products insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. Still, the insider transactions at Utah Medical Products in the last 12 months are not very heartening. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. To put this in context, take a look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Of course Utah Medical Products 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.