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Read This Before Selling Deswell Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:DSWL) Shares

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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell Deswell Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:DSWL), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Selling?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'

See our latest analysis for Deswell Industries

Deswell Industries Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Chairman of the Board Pui Lau bought US$567k worth of shares at a price of US$3.40 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of US$2.61. 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. To us, it's very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock when an insider has bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price. Pui Lau was the only individual insider to buy shares in the last twelve months.

Pui Lau purchased 218k shares over the year. The average price per share was US$3.28. 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!

NasdaqGM:DSWL Recent Insider Trading, September 18th 2019
NasdaqGM:DSWL Recent Insider Trading, September 18th 2019

Deswell Industries is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Insider Ownership of Deswell Industries

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It's great to see that Deswell Industries insiders own 61% of the company, worth about US$25m. 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 Deswell Industries Tell Us?

The fact that there have been no Deswell Industries insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Judging from their transactions, and high insider ownership, Deswell Industries insiders feel good about the company's future. 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 .

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.

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.