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Are Insiders Selling AusNet Services Ltd (ASX:AST) Stock?

Simply Wall St

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell AusNet Services Ltd (ASX:AST), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

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, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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 AusNet Services

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At AusNet Services

The Non-Executive Director, Chee Meng Tan, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for AU$95k worth of shares at a price of AU$1.90 each. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of AU$1.79. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take place at a lower price. Given that the sale took place at around current prices, it makes us a little cautious but is hardly a major concern. Chee Meng Tan was the only individual insider to sell over the last year.

Chee Meng Tan ditched 100k shares over the year. The average price per share was AU$1.89. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

ASX:AST Recent Insider Trading, September 3rd 2019

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

Does AusNet Services Boast High Insider Ownership?

I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Insiders own 0.1% of AusNet Services shares, worth about AU$8.1m, according to our data. However, it's possible that insiders might have an indirect interest through a more complex structure. We do generally prefer see higher levels of insider ownership.

So What Do The AusNet Services Insider Transactions Indicate?

An insider sold AusNet Services shares recently, but they didn't buy any. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. Insiders own relatively few shares in the company, and when you consider the sales, we're not particularly excited about the stock. As the saying goes, only fools rush in. 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.

But note: AusNet Services may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE 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.