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Should You Take Comfort From Insider Transactions At Mueller Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MLI)?

Simply Wall St

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell Mueller Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MLI), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

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. 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'.

Check out our latest analysis for Mueller Industries

Mueller Industries Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Independent Director, Paul Flaherty, sold US$304k worth of shares at a price of US$30.41 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$26.89. While insider selling is a negative, to us, it is more negative if the shares are sold at a lower price. We note that this sale took place at around the current price, so it isn't a major concern, though it's hardly a good sign.

Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid US$814k for 32445 shares. On the other hand they divested 25533 shares, for US$737k. In total, Mueller Industries insiders bought more than they sold over the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

NYSE:MLI Recent Insider Trading, October 9th 2019

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insiders at Mueller Industries Have Sold Stock Recently

We've seen more insider selling than insider buying at Mueller Industries recently. In total, insiders sold US$673k worth of shares in that time. On the flip side, Chief Information Officer Kristee Ford spent US$10k on purchasing shares. Generally this level of net selling might be considered a bit bearish.

Does Mueller Industries Boast High Insider Ownership?

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Insiders own 3.3% of Mueller Industries shares, worth about US$50m. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Mueller Industries Insiders?

The insider sales have outweighed the insider buying, at Mueller Industries, in the last three months. In contrast, they appear keener if you look at the last twelve months. And insiders do own shares. So the recent selling doesn't worry us too much. 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.

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.

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 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. Thank you for reading.