It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Sage Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAGE).
What Is Insider Buying?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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 Columbia University study found that 'insiders are more likely to engage in open market purchases of their own company’s stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers'.
Sage Therapeutics Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Chief Scientific Officer Albert Robichaud bought US$1.6m worth of shares at a price of US$64.16 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being US$50.70). While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company's future. To us, it's very important to consider the price insiders pay for 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.
Sage Therapeutics insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. 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 Sage Therapeutics
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. Sage Therapeutics insiders own about US$47m worth of shares. That equates to 1.8% 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 Do The Sage Therapeutics Insider Transactions Indicate?
The fact that there have been no Sage Therapeutics insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. Insiders do have a stake in Sage Therapeutics and their transactions don't cause us concern. 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 2 warning signs for Sage Therapeutics and we suggest you have a look.
Of course Sage 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 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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