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Have Insiders Been Selling Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) Shares This Year?

Simply Wall St

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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK).

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a 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 equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'

See our latest analysis for Autodesk

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Autodesk

The Director, Elizabeth Rafael, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$1.2m worth of shares at a price of US$138 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of US$166. When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can't be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it's only a weak sign. This single sale was 76.6% of Elizabeth Rafael's stake. Elizabeth Rafael was the only individual insider to sell over the last year.

Elizabeth Rafael divested 11088 shares over the last 12 months at an average price of US$142. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NasdaqGS:ADSK Recent Insider Trading, June 20th 2019

If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Insider Ownership of Autodesk

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. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Autodesk insiders own about US$40m worth of shares. That equates to 0.1% 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.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Autodesk Tell Us?

An insider hasn't bought Autodesk stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn't show any insider buying. Insiders own shares, but we're still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. We'd think twice before buying! Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Autodesk.

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 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.