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 ION Geophysical Corporation (NYSE:IO).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
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.
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. As Peter Lynch said, 'insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise'.
ION Geophysical Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Chairman & Lead Independent Director James Lapeyre for US$183k worth of shares, at about US$3.66 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of US$1.50. 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.
ION Geophysical insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. The average buy price was around US$2.54. I'd consider this a positive as it suggests insiders see value at around the current price. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and 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!
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 ION Geophysical 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. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Our data indicates that ION Geophysical insiders own about US$1.9m worth of shares (which is 8.4% of the company). However, it's possible that insiders might have an indirect interest through a more complex structure. Overall, this level of ownership isn't that impressive, but it's certainly better than nothing!
So What Does This Data Suggest About ION Geophysical Insiders?
The fact that there have been no ION Geophysical insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. We'd like to see bigger individual holdings. However, we don't see anything to make us think ION Geophysical insiders are doubting the company. While we like knowing what's going on with the insider's ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for ION Geophysical you should be aware of.
But note: ION Geophysical 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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