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Did carsales.com Ltd (ASX:CAR) Insiders Buy Up More Shares?

Simply Wall St

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in carsales.com Ltd (ASX:CAR).

What Is Insider Selling?

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, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. 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'.

See our latest analysis for carsales.com

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At carsales.com

There wasn't any very large single transaction over the last year, but we can still observe some trading.

While carsales.com insiders bought shares last year, they didn't sell. Their average price was about AU$12.60. It is certainly positive to see that insiders have invested their own money in the company. However, we do note that they were buying at significantly lower prices than today's share price of AU$17.26. 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!

ASX:CAR Recent Insider Trading, December 24th 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).

Are carsales.com Insiders Buying Or Selling?

Over the last three months, we've seen a bit of insider buying at carsales.com. Non-Executive Director David Wiadrowski purchased AU$14k worth of shares in that period. It's good to see the insider buying, as well as the lack of recent sellers. 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 carsales.com

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. carsales.com insiders own about AU$299m worth of shares (which is 7.1% of the company). I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About carsales.com Insiders?

Our data shows a little insider buying, but no selling, in the last three months. That said, the purchases were not large. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. It would be great to see more insider buying, but overall it seems like carsales.com insiders are reasonably well aligned (owning significant chunk of the company's shares) and optimistic for the future. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in carsales.com, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.

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.