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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 Deswell Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:DSWL), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Buying?
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.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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'.
Deswell Industries Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Chairman of the Board Hon Pui for US$277k worth of shares, at about US$2.51 per share. That means that even when the share price was higher than US$2.45 (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. To us, it's very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. 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. Hon Pui was the only individual insider to buy during the last year.
Hon Pui bought 233.37k shares over the last 12 months at an average price of US$2.55. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
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).
Insider Ownership of Deswell Industries
Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It's great to see that Deswell Industries insiders own 65% of the company, worth about US$25m. 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 Deswell Industries Insiders?
It's certainly positive to see the recent insider purchase. And an analysis of the transactions over the last year also gives us confidence. But we don't feel the same about the fact the company is making losses. Once you factor in the high insider ownership, it certainly seems like insiders are positive about Deswell Industries. Nice! So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. For example - Deswell Industries has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
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.
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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