Should You Invest in Westmoreland Coal Company (WLB)? A Look at the Insider Trends

Recent insider trends for Westmoreland Coal Company (NASDAQ:WLB) have caught the attention of investors. Analysts study insider data to get a sense of sense of what key shareholders think about the outlook for a particular stock. In the case of WLB, the data has some interesting implications for where the stock might be headed.

Institutions own 62.42% of Westmoreland Coal Company (WLB)’s shares. The total value of these holdings, in millions, is $7. Among active positions in the latest quarter, 36 holders increased their positions by a total of 1.9 million shares, 47 holders decreased the positions by a total of 3.53 million shares, and 8 holders held their positions. This works out to a net decrease in ownership of 1.63 million shares, and suggests that institutions are feeling bearish about the stock.

Among new and sold out positions, 11 holders initiated new positions by a total of 465202 shares and 20 holders exited their positions by a total of 1.7 million shares. This nets out to a decrease of 1.23 million shares and is another bearish sign for WLB.

Insider ownership increased by a total of 0 shares, which suggests that WLB’s key executives are feeling more optimistic about the outlook for the stock. The data from the past twelve months tells a different story: insiders executed 11 sells, and ownership decreased by a net of 50838 shares.

Short interest, or the number of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted, is another metric investors use to get a pulse on sentiment. Westmoreland Coal Company (NASDAQ:WLB)’s short interest is 1.57 million shares, or 9.76% of the float. This represents an increase of 1% in the number of shares being shorted compared to the previous reading, and implies that investors felt more pessimistic about the stock during the past two weeks.

In light of the insider ownership and trading data it makes sense to consider technicals to see if they come to a similar conclusion about the outlook for WLB. A composite of 13 technical indicators that includes measures such as moving averages and momentum oscillators suggests that WLB is a Strong sell, which implies that WLB is expected to underperform the market based on prior trading patterns.


Institutional ownership trends suggest that the stock is cheap and the insider trading data indicates that insiders are bullish. Technical indicators (also) suggest that Westmoreland Coal Company (NASDAQ:WLB) is overvalued.

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