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Should You Take Comfort From Insider Transactions At 4D pharma plc (LON:DDDD)?

Simply Wall St

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 4D pharma plc (LON:DDDD), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Buying?

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.

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 Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.

View our latest analysis for 4D pharma

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At 4D pharma

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by CEO & Executive Director Duncan Peyton for UK£101k worth of shares, at about UK£0.99 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at around the current price of UK£1.07. That means they have been optimistic about the company in the past, though they may have changed their mind. While we always like to see insider buying, it's less meaningful if the purchases were made at much lower prices, as the opportunity they saw may have passed. In this case we're pleased to report that the insider purchases were made at close to current prices.

4D pharma insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

AIM:DDDD Recent Insider Trading, December 10th 2019

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).

Does 4D pharma Boast High Insider Ownership?

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. It appears that 4D pharma insiders own 38% of the company, worth about UK£27m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At 4D pharma 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. Overall we don't see anything to make us think 4D pharma insiders are doubting the company, and they do own shares. I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

But note: 4D pharma 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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.

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. Thank you for reading.