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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. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESPR).
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, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'
Esperion Therapeutics Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by President Timothy Mayleben for US$244k worth of shares, at about US$48.73 per share. That implies that an insider found the current price of US$51.01 per share to be enticing. 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. In this case we're pleased to report that the insider bought shares at close to current prices. Timothy Mayleben was the only individual insider to buy over the year.
Timothy Mayleben bought 15000 shares over the last 12 months at an average price of US$44.07. 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).
Insider Ownership of Esperion Therapeutics
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Insiders own 2.7% of Esperion Therapeutics shares, worth about US$37m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Esperion Therapeutics Tell Us?
It's certainly positive to see the recent insider purchase. We also take confidence from the longer term picture of insider transactions. However, we note that the company didn't make a profit over the last twelve months, which makes us cautious. When combined with notable insider ownership, these factors suggest Esperion Therapeutics insiders are well aligned, and that they may think the share price is too low. 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.
Of course Esperion Therapeutics 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 aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
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.