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 West Bancorporation, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTBA), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Selling?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At West Bancorporation
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Independent Director George Milligan bought US$104k worth of shares at a price of US$20.82 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being US$17.10). It's very possible they regret the purchase, but it's more likely they are bullish about the company. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when insiders have purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price.
West Bancorporation insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and 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!
West Bancorporation 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. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It appears that West Bancorporation insiders own 3.8% of the company, worth about US$11m. 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 Does This Data Suggest About West Bancorporation Insiders?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded West Bancorporation shares in the last quarter. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. Insiders own shares in West Bancorporation and we see no evidence to suggest they are worried about the future. If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.
Of course West Bancorporation 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.
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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