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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in ioneer Ltd (ASX:INR).
What Is Insider Selling?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At ioneer
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Independent Non-Executive Director John Hofmeister for AU$239k worth of shares, at about AU$0.21 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of AU$0.20. Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. To us, it's very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock if insiders have bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price.
In the last twelve months ioneer insiders were buying shares, but not selling. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
ioneer is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
ioneer Insiders Bought Stock Recently
Over the last three months, we've seen a bit of insider buying at ioneer. Independent Non-Executive Director Alan John Davies shelled out AU$50k for shares in that time. It's great to see that insiders are only buying, not selling. But the amount invested in the last three months isn't enough for us too put much weight on it, as a single factor.
Insider Ownership of ioneer
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. ioneer insiders own about AU$56m worth of shares. That equates to 21% of the company. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At ioneer Tell Us?
The recent insider purchase is heartening. And the longer term insider transactions also give us confidence. But on the other hand, the company made a loss last year, which makes us a little cautious. When combined with notable insider ownership, these factors suggest ioneer insiders are well aligned, and that they may think the share price is too low. I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow for free.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.