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Have Insiders Been Selling Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) Shares?

Simply Wall St

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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI).

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, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. As Peter Lynch said, 'insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise.

View our latest analysis for Acuity Brands

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Acuity Brands

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Independent Director, Ray Robinson, sold US$308k worth of shares at a price of US$130 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$128. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take place at a lower price. In this case, the big sale took place at around the current price, so it's not too bad (but it's still not a positive).

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 2463 shares worth US$321k. In the last year Acuity Brands insiders didn't buy any company stock. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NYSE:AYI Recent Insider Trading, November 9th 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Acuity Brands Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last three months saw some Acuity Brands insider selling. Independent Director Robert McCullough sold just US$13k worth of shares in that time. Neither the lack of buying nor the presence of selling is heartening. But the amount sold isn't enough for us to put any weight on it.

Does Acuity Brands Boast High Insider Ownership?

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Insiders own 1.1% of Acuity Brands shares, worth about US$57m. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Acuity Brands Insiders?

We did not see any insider buying in the last three months, but we did see selling. But given the selling was modest, we're not worried. We're a little cautious about the insider selling at Acuity Brands. But we do like the fact that insiders own a fair chunk of the company. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Acuity Brands.

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.

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.