Will Insiders Be Tempted To Buy More ACC At The New 52-Week Low?

In trading on Monday, shares of American Campus Communities Inc (ACC) touched a new 52-week low of $31.91/share. That's a $16.58 share price drop, or -34.19% decline from the 52-week high of $48.49 set back on 01/16/2013. Large percentage drops always require that the stock post even larger percentage gains from the low in order to recover the old price point, and for ACC that means the stock would have to gain 51.96% to get back to the 52-week high. For a move like that, American Campus Communities Inc would need fundamental strength at the business level.

Here's a rhetorical question: Who knows more about fundamentals at the business level than the company's own insiders? So let's take a look to see whether any company insiders were taking the other side of the trade as ACC shares were being sold down to this new 52-week low, focusing on the most recent trailing six month period. As summarized by the table below, ACC has seen 7 different instances of insiders buying over the past six months.

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Purchased Insider Title Shares Price/Share Value
06/05/2013 Oliver Luck Director 496 $40.25 $19,964.00
07/29/2013 Jonathan Albert Graf Executive VP and CFO 1,700 $39.82 $67,700.00
07/26/2013 Greg A. Dowell Sr. Executive VP and COO 1,000 $39.94 $39,940.00
07/29/2013 R. D. Burck Director 2,000 $39.59 $79,180.00
08/07/2013 Greg A. Dowell Sr. Executive VP and COO 1,000 $37.44 $37,441.00
08/14/2013 Jonathan Albert Graf Executive VP and CFO 2,000 $35.50 $71,000.00
08/16/2013 James E. Wilhelm III EVP PublicPrivate Transactions 1,150 $34.97 $40,215.50
08/16/2013 James Clarence Hopke Jr. EVP, Proj. Mgmt & Construction 750 $34.98 $26,235.00
09/06/2013 G. Steven Dawson Director 5,000 $34.00 $169,996.00

In the short run, while the new 52-week low suggests the stock is at the cheapest price and perhaps therefore the best bargain it has been over the last 52 weeks, the low print also means anyone who has purchased the stock over that timeframe is staring at an unrealized loss. Oftentimes, that factor drives a stock's technical analysis metrics by creating overhead resistance, with investors who bought higher now anxious to reverse their trade once they are back to breakeven. The chart below shows where ACC has traded over the past year, with the 50-day and 200-day moving averages included.

American Campus Communities Inc Moving Averages Chart

Time will tell whether the insider purchases foretell a future rebound for ACC shares, which are presently showing a last trade of $32.13/share, slightly above the new 52-week low.

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