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Have Insiders Been Selling CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSGP) Shares?

Simply Wall St

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. The flip side of that is that there are more than a few examples of insiders dumping stock prior to a period of weak performance. So before you buy or sell CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSGP), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

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

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. For example, a Columbia University study found that 'insiders are more likely to engage in open market purchases of their own company’s stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers'.

See our latest analysis for CoStar Group

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At CoStar Group

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Co-Founder, Andrew Florance, for US$15m worth of shares, at about US$629 per share. So we know that an insider sold shares at around the present share price of US$599. 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.

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 56108 shares worth US$30m. Insiders in CoStar Group didn't buy any shares in the last year. 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:CSGP Recent Insider Trading, August 5th 2019

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CoStar Group Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last three months saw significant insider selling at CoStar Group. Specifically, insiders ditched US$18m worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it's not the be all and end all.

Insider Ownership of CoStar Group

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. CoStar Group insiders own about US$377m worth of shares (which is 1.7% of the company). This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About CoStar Group Insiders?

Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. On the plus side, CoStar Group makes money, and is growing profits. While insiders do own a lot of shares in the company (which is good), our analysis of their transactions doesn't make us feel confident about the company. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in CoStar Group, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.