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Have Insiders Been Selling Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR) Shares?

Simply Wall St

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We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR).

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

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.'

See our latest analysis for Saracen Mineral Holdings

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Saracen Mineral Holdings

The MD & Director, Raleigh Finlayson, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for AU$12m worth of shares at a price of AU$2.06 each. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (AU$3.66). As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower 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. We note that the biggest single sale was 59.5% of Raleigh Finlayson's holding.

In the last twelve months insiders purchased 61718 shares for AU$110k. But insiders sold 5.9m shares worth AU$12m. Over the last year we saw more insider selling of Saracen Mineral Holdings shares, than buying. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

ASX:SAR Recent Insider Trading, June 16th 2019

I will like Saracen Mineral Holdings better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

Does Saracen Mineral Holdings Boast High Insider Ownership?

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. Saracen Mineral Holdings insiders own about AU$28m worth of shares. That equates to 0.9% of the company. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.

So What Do The Saracen Mineral Holdings Insider Transactions Indicate?

There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. Our analysis of Saracen Mineral Holdings insider transactions leaves us cautious. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. 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.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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.