We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in SM Energy Company (NYSE:SM).
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, 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 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'.
SM Energy Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
The Independent Director Julio Quintana made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$80k worth of shares at a price of US$2.00 each. That means that even when the share price was higher than US$1.71 (the recent price), an insider wanted to purchase shares. 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. It is generally more encouraging if they paid above the current price, as it suggests they saw value, even at higher levels.
SM Energy insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. The average buy price was around US$3.77. These transactions suggest that insiders have considered the current price attractive. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and 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!
SM Energy 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. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Based on our data, SM Energy insiders have about 2.0% of the stock, worth approximately US$3.9m. I generally like to see higher levels of ownership.
So What Do The SM Energy Insider Transactions Indicate?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded SM Energy shares in the last quarter. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. While we have no worries about the insider transactions, we'd be more comfortable if they owned more SM Energy stock. While we like knowing what's going on with the insider's ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 2 warning signs with SM Energy and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity 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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