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Have Insiders Been Selling Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE:PANW) Shares This Year?

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 before you buy or sell Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE:PANW), 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, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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.'

See our latest analysis for Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

The Director, James Goetz, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$9.7m worth of shares at a price of US$243 each. So we know that an insider sold shares at around the present share price of US$212. While insider selling is a negative, to us, it is more negative if the shares are sold 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.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 46344 shares for a total of US$11m. Palo Alto Networks insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

NYSE:PANW Recent Insider Trading, August 8th 2019

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

Insider Ownership

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Palo Alto Networks insiders own about US$527m worth of shares (which is 2.6% of the company). I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Palo Alto Networks Tell Us?

There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. It's heartening that insiders own plenty of stock, but we'd like to see more insider buying, since the last year of Palo Alto Networks insider transactions don't fill us with confidence. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Palo Alto Networks, 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.