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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. 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in HollyFrontier Corporation (NYSE:HFC).
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, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At HollyFrontier
The Executive VP & CFO Richard Voliva made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$415k worth of shares at a price of US$21.54 each. Although we like to see insider buying, we note that this large purchase was at significantly below the recent price of US$29.52. Because the shares were purchased at a lower price, this particular buy doesn't tell us much about how insiders feel about the current share price.
You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. 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).
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. HollyFrontier insiders own about US$31m worth of shares. That equates to 0.7% 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 Does This Data Suggest About HollyFrontier Insiders?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Insiders own shares in HollyFrontier and we see no evidence to suggest they are worried about 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. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for HollyFrontier (1 is a bit concerning) you should be aware of.
But note: HollyFrontier may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE 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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