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Read This Before Selling QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:QTS) 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:QTS).

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

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 don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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.

View our latest analysis for QTS Realty Trust

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At QTS Realty Trust

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Chairman Chad Williams for US$685k worth of shares, at about US$39.17 per share. Even though the purchase was made at a significantly lower price than the recent price (US$53.19), we still think insider buying is a positive. Because it occurred at a lower valuation, it doesn't tell us much about whether insiders might find today's price attractive.

In the last twelve months insiders purchased 25830 shares for US$1.1m. But they sold 5555 for US$253k. In the last twelve months there was more buying than selling by QTS Realty Trust insiders. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NYSE:QTS Recent Insider Trading, October 29th 2019

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Insiders at QTS Realty Trust Have Bought Stock Recently

Over the last quarter, QTS Realty Trust insiders have spent a meaningful amount on shares. Specifically, insider Wayne Rehberger bought US$50k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any sales whatsoever. This could be interpreted as suggesting a positive outlook.

Insider Ownership

I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. QTS Realty Trust insiders own about US$60m worth of shares. That equates to 1.8% 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 Do The QTS Realty Trust Insider Transactions Indicate?

It's certainly positive to see the recent insider purchase. And the longer term insider transactions also give us confidence. But on the other hand, the company made a loss last year, which makes us a little cautious. When combined with notable insider ownership, these factors suggest QTS Realty Trust insiders are well aligned, and that they may think the share price is too low. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for QTS Realty Trust.

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.