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Did Cogent Communications Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CCOI) Insiders Sell Shares?

Simply Wall St

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 before you buy or sell Cogent Communications Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CCOI), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Selling?

It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

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

View our latest analysis for Cogent Communications Holdings

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Cogent Communications Holdings

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Independent Director, David Bath, for US$579k worth of shares, at about US$57.88 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even slightly below the current price of US$57.95. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. Please do note, however, that sellers may have a variety of reasons for selling, so we don't know for sure what they think of the stock price. It is worth noting that this sale was only 35% of David Bath's holding.

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 62710 shares worth US$3.5m. Insiders in Cogent Communications Holdings didn't buy any shares in the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NasdaqGS:CCOI Recent Insider Trading, October 25th 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Cogent Communications Holdings Insiders Are Selling The Stock

Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Cogent Communications Holdings. Specifically, insiders ditched US$700k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.

Does Cogent Communications Holdings Boast High Insider Ownership?

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. It's great to see that Cogent Communications Holdings insiders own 11% of the company, worth about US$284m. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Cogent Communications Holdings Insiders?

Insiders sold Cogent Communications Holdings shares recently, but they didn't buy any. And even if we look to the last year, we didn't see any purchases. But it is good to see that Cogent Communications Holdings is growing earnings. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. 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.

But note: Cogent Communications Holdings 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.

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.