We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Barnwell Industries, Inc. (NYSEMKT:BRN).
What Is Insider Selling?
Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Barnwell Industries
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Nominee Director Ned Sherwood bought US$182k worth of shares at a price of US$0.95 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, at around the current price, which is US$1.08. Of course they may have changed their mind. But this suggests they are optimistic. We do always like to see insider buying, but it is worth noting if those purchases were made at well below today's share price, as the discount to value may have narrowed with the rising price. The good news for Barnwell Industries share holders is that insiders were buying at near the current price.
In the last twelve months insiders purchased 375.24k shares for US$315k. But insiders sold 2.50k shares worth US$1.7k. In total, Barnwell Industries insiders bought more than they sold over the last year. Their average price was about US$0.84. To my mind it is good that insiders have invested their own money in the company. However, we do note that they were buying at significantly lower prices than today's share price. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Barnwell Industries insiders own 52% of the company, currently worth about US$4.6m based on the recent share price. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Barnwell Industries Tell Us?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. It would be great to see more insider buying, but overall it seems like Barnwell Industries insiders are reasonably well aligned (owning significant chunk of the company's shares) and optimistic for the future. So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. To help with this, we've discovered 4 warning signs (3 are concerning!) that you ought to be aware of before buying any shares in Barnwell Industries.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity 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.
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. 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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