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Should You Be Worried About Insider Transactions At City Holding Company (NASDAQ:CHCO)?

Lee Kay

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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 we’ll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in City Holding Company (NASDAQ:CHCO).

What Is Insider Buying?

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 company’s stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers’.

View our latest analysis for City Holding

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At City Holding

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by President Charles Hageboeck for US$555k worth of shares, at about US$72.01 per share. So it’s clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even slightly below the current price of US$73.15. Even though it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, that’s certainly not a positive sign, in our book. We generally consider it a negative if insiders have been selling on market, especially if they did so below the current price. Please note, however, that this single sale was just 9.8% of Charles Hageboeck’s stake.

Over the last year we saw more insider selling of City Holding shares, than buying. The average sell price was around US$74.24. We don’t gain much confidence from insider selling near the recent share price. Since insiders sell for many reasons, we wouldn’t put too much weight on it. 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!

NASDAQGS:CHCO Insider Trading February 5th 19

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Have City Holding Insiders Traded Recently?

Over the last three months, we’ve seen a bit of insider buying at City Holding. Diane Strong-Treister purchased US$7.7k worth of shares in that period. It’s good to see the insider buying, as well as the lack of recent sellers. However, in this case the amount invested recently is quite small.

Insider Ownership

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. Insiders own 3.1% of City Holding shares, worth about US$38m. 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 Does This Data Suggest About City Holding Insiders?

We note a that there has been a tad more insider buying than selling, recently. But the net investment is not enough to encourage us much. Our analysis of City Holding insider transactions leaves us cautious. But we do like the fact that insiders own a fair chunk of the company. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in City Holding, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

But note: City Holding may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.