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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 before you buy or sell Franco-Nevada Corporation (TSE:FNV), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
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 on the market. 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 equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Franco-Nevada
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the CEO & Director, David Harquail, for CA$2.9m worth of shares, at about CA$98.66 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of CA$110. When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can't be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it's only a weak sign. We note that the biggest single sale was only 2.6% of David Harquail's holding.
Over the last year we saw more insider selling of Franco-Nevada shares, than buying. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Insiders at Franco-Nevada Have Sold Stock Recently
The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Franco-Nevada shares. In total, David Harquail sold US$1.0m worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it's not the be all and end all.
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 Franco-Nevada insiders own 1.5% of the company, worth about CA$306m. 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 Do The Franco-Nevada Insider Transactions Indicate?
An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. Zooming out, the longer term picture doesn't give us much comfort. 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: Franco-Nevada 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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.