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Selling US$1.0m worth of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) stock at high prices would have gotten insiders a handsome reward

Last week, Wells Fargo & Company's (NYSE:WFC) stock jumped 4.3%, but insiders who sold US$1.0m worth of stock in over the past year are likely to be in a better position. Selling at an average price of US$44.44, which is higher than the current price, may have been the wisest decision for these insiders as their investment would have been worth less now than when they sold.

While we would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing, we do think it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing.

See our latest analysis for Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

The insider, Kleber Santos, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$1.0m worth of shares at a price of US$44.44 each. So we know that an insider sold shares at around the present share price of US$42.24. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take place at a lower price. Given that the sale took place at around current prices, it makes us a little cautious but is hardly a major concern. The only individual insider seller over the last year was Kleber Santos.

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!

insider-trading-volume
insider-trading-volume

I will like Wells Fargo 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 Wells Fargo Boast High Insider Ownership?

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It's great to see that Wells Fargo insiders own 0.07% of the company, worth about US$118m. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Wells Fargo Insiders?

It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Wells Fargo shares in the last quarter. It's heartening that insiders own plenty of stock, but we'd like to see more insider buying, since the last year of Wells Fargo insider transactions don't fill us with confidence. While we like knowing what's going on with the insider's ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. To assist with this, we've discovered 1 warning sign that you should run your eye over to get a better picture of Wells Fargo.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting 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.

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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