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Did The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV) Insiders Sell Shares?

Simply Wall St

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 The Travelers Companies, Inc. ( NYSE:TRV ), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Buying?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'

View our latest analysis for Travelers Companies

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Travelers Companies

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Vice Chairman, William Heyman, for US$1.1m worth of shares, at about US$131 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$148). 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. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. It is worth noting that this sale was only 3.2% of William Heyman's holding.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 33958 shares for a total of US$4.4m. Insiders in Travelers Companies didn't buy any shares in the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NYSE:TRV Recent Insider Trading, August 9th 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Does Travelers Companies Boast High Insider Ownership?

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Travelers Companies insiders own about US$130m worth of shares (which is 0.3% of the company). 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 Travelers Companies Tell Us?

It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Travelers Companies shares in the last quarter. While we feel good about high insider ownership of Travelers Companies, we can't say the same about the selling of shares. 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 .

But note: Travelers Companies 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, but not derivative transactions.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com . 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.