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Should You Be Worried About Insider Transactions At Meta Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASH)?

Simply Wall St

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Meta Financial Group, Inc. ( NASDAQ:CASH ).

What Is Insider Buying?

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.

We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. 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'.

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Check out our latest analysis for Meta Financial Group

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Meta Financial Group

The President, Bradley Hanson, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$2.3m worth of shares at a price of US$37.83 each. While insider selling is a negative, to us, it is more negative if the shares are sold at a lower price. The good news is that this large sale was at well above current price of US$26.44. So it is hard to draw any strong conclusion from it. Notably Bradley Hanson was also the biggest buyer, having purchased US$544k worth of shares.

Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid US$544k for 25466 shares. On the other hand they divested 231k shares, for US$6.9m. All up, insiders sold more shares in Meta Financial Group than they bought, over 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!

NasdaqGS:CASH Recent Insider Trading, May 17th 2019

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

Insiders at Meta Financial Group Have Sold Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Meta Financial Group. In total, insiders dumped US$2.6m worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it's not the be all and end all.

Does Meta Financial Group 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. Meta Financial Group insiders own about US$84m worth of shares. That equates to 8.1% 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 Meta Financial Group Insider Transactions Indicate?

Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And our longer term analysis of insider transactions didn't bring confidence, either. But it is good to see that Meta Financial Group is growing earnings. Insiders own shares, but we're still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. We'd think twice before buying! 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 .

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

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.