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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Fortis Inc. (TSE:FTS).
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.
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. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
Fortis Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
The insider, Jon Jipping, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for CA$3.5m worth of shares at a price of CA$58.36 each. So we know that an insider sold shares at around the present share price of CA$52.13. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. We note that this sale took place at around the current price, so it isn't a major concern, though it's hardly a good sign. Jon Jipping was the only individual insider to sell shares in the last twelve months.
Over the last year, we can see that insiders have bought 67.42k shares worth CA$3.6m. On the other hand they divested 60.00k shares, for CA$3.5m. In the last twelve months there was more buying than selling by Fortis insiders. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Insider Ownership of Fortis
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Insiders own 0.1% of Fortis shares, worth about CA$28m. 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 Do The Fortis Insider Transactions Indicate?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. Insiders own shares in Fortis and we see no evidence to suggest they are worried about the 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. You'd be interested to know, that we found 1 warning sign for Fortis and we suggest you have a look.
But note: Fortis 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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