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 Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited (LON:GKP).
What Is Insider Buying?
Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
Gulf Keystone Petroleum Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Non-Executive Director Garrett Soden for UK£65k worth of shares, at about UK£0.92 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being UK£0.74). It's very possible they regret the purchase, but it's more likely they are bullish about the company. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock if insiders have bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price.
In the last twelve months Gulf Keystone Petroleum insiders were buying shares, but not selling. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
Gulf Keystone Petroleum is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
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. Our data isn't picking up on much insider ownership at Gulf Keystone Petroleum, though insiders do hold about UK£112k worth of shares. We might be missing something but that seems like very low insider ownership.
So What Do The Gulf Keystone Petroleum Insider Transactions Indicate?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Gulf Keystone Petroleum shares in the last quarter. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. We'd like to see bigger individual holdings. However, we don't see anything to make us think Gulf Keystone Petroleum insiders are doubting the company. 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. While conducting our analysis, we found that Gulf Keystone Petroleum has 1 warning sign and it would be unwise to ignore this.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting 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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