We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE:FHN).
What Is Insider Selling?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a 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 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'.
First Horizon National Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
The insider Scott Niswonger made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$908k worth of shares at a price of US$9.08 each. That implies that an insider found the current price of US$10.51 per share to be enticing. That means they have been optimistic about the company in the past, though they may have changed their mind. We do always like to see insider buying, but it is worth noting if those purchases were made at well below today's share price, as the discount to value may have narrowed with the rising price. In this case we're pleased to report that the insider purchases were made at close to current prices.
In the last twelve months First Horizon National insiders were buying shares, but not selling. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
First Horizon National is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. It appears that First Horizon National insiders own 1.7% of the company, worth about US$98m. 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 First Horizon National Insiders?
The fact that there have been no First Horizon National insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Insiders do have a stake in First Horizon National and their transactions don't cause us concern. In addition to knowing about insider transactions going on, it's beneficial to identify the risks facing First Horizon National. At Simply Wall St, we've found that First Horizon National has 2 warning signs (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that deserve your attention before going any further with your analysis.
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.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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