Over the last year, a good number of insiders have significantly increased their holdings in Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC). This is encouraging because it indicates that insiders are more optimistic about the company's prospects.
While we would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether.
Wintrust Financial Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when insider Brian Kenney bought US$609k worth of shares at a price of US$92.23 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being US$74.79). Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock if insiders have bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price.
In the last twelve months insiders purchased 17.20k shares for US$1.4m. But insiders sold 5.51k shares worth US$504k. In the last twelve months there was more buying than selling by Wintrust Financial insiders. They paid about US$80.04 on average. I'd consider this a positive as it suggests insiders see value at around the current price. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Does Wintrust Financial Boast High 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. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Wintrust Financial insiders own about US$60m worth of shares. That equates to 1.3% of the company. 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 Do The Wintrust Financial Insider Transactions Indicate?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. Insiders do have a stake in Wintrust Financial and their transactions don't cause us concern. So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. To assist with this, we've discovered 1 warning sign that you should run your eye over to get a better picture of Wintrust Financial.
But note: Wintrust Financial 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.
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 of direct interests only, but not derivative transactions or indirect interests.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.