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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Ensurance Limited (ASX:ENA).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
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. 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 Ensurance
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Executive Chairman Anthony Leibowitz for AU$100k worth of shares, at about AU$0.015 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at around the current price of AU$0.018. Of course they may have changed their mind. But this suggests they are optimistic. We do always like to see insider buying, but it is worth noting if those purchases were made at well below today's share price, as the discount to value may have narrowed with the rising price. The good news for Ensurance share holders is that an insider was buying at near the current price. Anthony Leibowitz was the only individual insider to buy shares in the last twelve months.
Anthony Leibowitz purchased 9.87m shares over the year. The average price per share was AU$0.014. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
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 Ensurance
For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Ensurance insiders own about AU$3.0m worth of shares. That equates to 29% of the company. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Ensurance Insiders?
Our data shows a little insider buying, but no selling, in the last three months. Overall the buying isn't worth writing home about. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. Overall we don't see anything to make us think Ensurance insiders are doubting the company, and they do own shares. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 6 warning signs for Ensurance you should be aware of, and 5 of them are a bit concerning.
Of course Ensurance may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.
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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