We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Enerplus Corporation (TSE:ERF).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
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. As Peter Lynch said, 'insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Enerplus
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when President Ian Dundas bought CA$228k worth of shares at a price of CA$7.60 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of CA$7.52. Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. To us, it's very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock if insiders have bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price.
In the last twelve months Enerplus insiders were buying shares, but not selling. They paid about CA$5.89 on average. We don't deny that it is nice to see insiders buying stock in the company. However, you should keep in mind that they bought when the share price was meaningfully below today's levels. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
Enerplus is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Enerplus Insiders Bought Stock Recently
Over the last quarter, Enerplus insiders have spent a meaningful amount on shares. In total, insiders bought CA$917k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any sales whatsoever. That shows some optimism about the company's future.
Does Enerplus Boast High Insider Ownership?
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. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. From our data, it seems that Enerplus insiders own 0.4% of the company, worth about CA$8.1m. We do generally prefer see higher levels of insider ownership.
So What Do The Enerplus Insider Transactions Indicate?
It's certainly positive to see the recent insider purchases. We also take confidence from the longer term picture of insider transactions. But on the other hand, the company made a loss during the last year, which makes us a little cautious. We would certainly prefer see higher levels of insider ownership but analysis of the insider transactions suggests that Enerplus insiders are expecting a bright future. So while it's helpful to know what insiders are doing in terms of buying or selling, it's also helpful to know the risks that a particular company is facing. At Simply Wall St, we've found that Enerplus has 3 warning signs (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that deserve your attention before going any further with your analysis.
But note: Enerplus 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.
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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