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 Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Buying?
Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'
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The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Cree
Director Duy-Loan Le made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$129k worth of shares at a price of US$64.46 each. That means that even when the share price was higher than US$63.15 (the recent price), an insider wanted to purchase shares. It's very possible they regret the purchase, but it's more likely they are bullish about the company. In our view, the price an insider pays for shares is very important. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when an insider has purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price. Duy-Loan Le was the only individual insider to buy shares in the last twelve months.
The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
Cree is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Insider Ownership of Cree
I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Cree insiders own about US$44m worth of shares. That equates to 0.7% 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.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Cree Insiders?
It is good to see the recent insider purchase. And the longer term insider transactions also give us confidence. But we don't feel the same about the fact the company is making losses. Insiders likely see value in Cree shares, given these transactions (along with notable insider ownership of the company). If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.
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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.