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We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. The flip side of that is that there are more than a few examples of insiders dumping stock prior to a period of weak performance. So before you buy or sell Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB), 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.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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'.
Biogen Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by CEO & Director Michel Vounatsos for US$1.0m worth of shares, at about US$231 per share. That means that even when the share price was higher than US$229 (the recent price), an insider wanted to purchase shares. Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. In our view, the price an insider pays for shares is very important. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock when an insider has bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price. The only individual insider to buy over the last year was Michel Vounatsos.
The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
Biogen is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It appears that Biogen insiders own 0.2% of the company, worth about US$74m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Biogen Tell Us?
The recent insider purchase is heartening. And the longer term insider transactions also give us confidence. Insiders likely see value in Biogen shares, given these transactions (along with notable insider ownership of the company). 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.
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.
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 email@example.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.