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Need To Know: Axcella Health Inc. (NASDAQ:AXLA) Insiders Have Been Buying Shares

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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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Axcella Health Inc. (NASDAQ:AXLA).

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, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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 Axcella Health

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Axcella Health

Chairman David Epstein made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$139k worth of shares at a price of US$9.57 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being US$5.90). Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock when an insider has bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price. David Epstein was the only individual insider to buy shares in the last twelve months.

David Epstein bought 38293 shares over the last 12 months at an average price of US$8.82. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NasdaqGM:AXLA Recent Insider Trading, November 6th 2019
NasdaqGM:AXLA Recent Insider Trading, November 6th 2019

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insider Ownership

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It appears that Axcella Health insiders own 9.1% of the company, worth about US$12m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.

So What Do The Axcella Health Insider Transactions Indicate?

The fact that there have been no Axcella Health insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. Insiders do have a stake in Axcella Health and their transactions don't cause us concern. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Axcella Health.

But note: Axcella Health 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.