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Are Insiders Buying Stantec Inc. (TSE:STN) Stock?

Simply Wall St

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 Stantec Inc. (TSE:STN).

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, 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 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Stantec

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Stantec

Executive VP & CFO Theresa B. Jang made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for CA$149k worth of shares at a price of CA$31.71 each. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of CA$28.33. Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when insiders have purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price.

Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid CA$916k for 29317 shares. On the other hand they divested 1360 shares, for CA$39k. Overall, Stantec insiders were net buyers last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

TSX:STN Recent Insider Trading, October 15th 2019

Stantec 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.

Insiders at Stantec Have Bought Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we've seen a bit of insider buying at Stantec. They bought CA$85k worth in that time. On the other hand, insider Jeffrey Stone sold CA$39k worth of shares. While it's good to see the insider buying, the net amount bought isn't enough for us to gain much confidence from it.

Insider Ownership of Stantec

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Insiders own 0.5% of Stantec shares, worth about CA$16m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Stantec Tell Us?

Insider purchases may have been minimal, in the last three months, but there was no selling at all. That said, the purchases were not large. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Insiders do have a stake in Stantec and their transactions don't cause us concern. 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, 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.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.