We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 Helen of Troy Limited (NASDAQ:HELE), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
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, 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.'
Helen of Troy Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Director, Vincent Carson, sold US$1.7m worth of shares at a price of US$147 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$154, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. 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. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. We note that the biggest single sale was 60.3% of Vincent Carson's holding.
In the last twelve months insiders netted US$2.5m for 17455 shares sold. In the last year Helen of Troy insiders didn't buy any company stock. 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!
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).
Helen of Troy Insiders Are Selling The Stock
The last three months saw significant insider selling at Helen of Troy. Specifically, Vincent Carson ditched US$1.7m worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. In light of this it's hard to argue that all the insiders think that the shares are a bargain.
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. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Helen of Troy insiders own about US$26m worth of shares. That equates to 0.7% 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 Helen of Troy Insider Transactions Indicate?
An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And even if we look to the last year, we didn't see any purchases. But it is good to see that Helen of Troy is growing earnings. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. We'd think twice before buying! 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.
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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.