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It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 American Vanguard Corporation (NYSE:AVD), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Buying?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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 American Vanguard
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Chairman & CEO Eric Wintemute for US$70k worth of shares, at about US$14.08 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being US$12.41). Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when insiders have purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price.
In the last twelve months American Vanguard insiders were buying shares, but not selling. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by 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).
American Vanguard Insiders Bought Stock Recently
Over the last three months, we've seen a bit of insider buying at American Vanguard. Chairman & CEO Eric Wintemute shelled out US$26k for shares in that time. It's good to see the insider buying, as well as the lack of recent sellers. But the amount invested in the last three months isn't enough for us too put much weight on it, as a single factor.
Insider Ownership of American Vanguard
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. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Insiders own 12% of American Vanguard shares, worth about US$45m. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.
So What Do The American Vanguard Insider Transactions Indicate?
Insider purchases may have been minimal, in the last three months, but there was no selling at all. The net investment is not enough to encourage us much. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Insiders own shares in American Vanguard and we see no evidence to suggest they are worried about the future. In addition to knowing about insider transactions going on, it's beneficial to identify the risks facing American Vanguard. For example, American Vanguard has 3 warning signs (and 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) we think you should know about.
Of course American Vanguard 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.
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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. Thank you for reading.