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Possible bearish signals as The Progressive Corporation (NYSE:PGR) insiders disposed of US$1.7m worth of stock

The fact that multiple The Progressive Corporation (NYSE:PGR) insiders offloaded a considerable amount of shares over the past year could have raised some eyebrows amongst investors. When analyzing insider transactions, it is usually more valuable to know whether insiders are buying versus knowing if they are selling, as the latter sends an ambiguous message. However, shareholders should take a deeper look if several insiders are selling stock over a specific time period.

While insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing, logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares.

See our latest analysis for Progressive

Progressive Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the insider, Michael Sieger, sold US$1.3m worth of shares at a price of US$103 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$127). When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can't be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it's only a weak sign. We note that the biggest single sale was only 23% of Michael Sieger's holding.

Progressive insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

insider-trading-volume
insider-trading-volume

If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Insider Ownership Of Progressive

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Progressive insiders own 0.4% of the company, currently worth about US$262m based on the recent share price. Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Progressive Tell Us?

There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. It's heartening that insiders own plenty of stock, but we'd like to see more insider buying, since the last year of Progressive insider transactions don't fill us with confidence. So while it's helpful to know what insiders are doing in terms of buying or selling, it's also helpful to know the risks that a particular company is facing. For example - Progressive has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.

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