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Have Insiders Been Selling AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL) Shares?

Lee Kay

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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. The flip side of that is that there are more than a few examples of insiders dumping stock prior to a period of weak performance. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL).

What Is Insider Selling?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. 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’.

View our latest analysis for AMERCO

AMERCO Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by President of Amerco Real Estate Company Carlos Vizcarra for US$862k worth of shares, at about US$357 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$370). While sellers have a variety of reasons for selling, this isn’t particularly great to see. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price. We note that the biggest single sale was 100% of Carlos Vizcarra’s holding.

Over the last year, we can see that insiders have bought 1.20k shares worth US$430k. On the other hand they divested 2.54k shares, for US$907k. In total, AMERCO insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. They sold for an average price of about US$357. It’s not particularly great to see insiders were selling shares at below recent prices. But we wouldn’t put too much weight on the insider selling. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NASDAQGS:UHAL Insider Trading February 11th 19

I will like AMERCO better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

Does AMERCO 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. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It’s great to see that AMERCO insiders own 17% of the company, worth about US$1.2b. Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.

So What Do The AMERCO Insider Transactions Indicate?

The fact that there have been no AMERCO insider transactions recently certainly doesn’t bother us. It’s heartening that insiders own plenty of stock, but we’d like to see more insider buying, since the last year of AMERCO insider transactions don’t fill us with confidence. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for AMERCO.

Of course AMERCO may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.

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.