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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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in M&C Saatchi plc (LON:SAA).
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.
We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At M&C Saatchi
In fact, the recent purchase by Moray MacLennan was the biggest purchase of M&C Saatchi shares made by an insider individual in the last twelve months, according to our records. That implies that an insider found the current price of UK£1.08 per share to be enticing. That means they have been optimistic about the company in the past, though they may have changed their mind. While we always like to see insider buying, it's less meaningful if the purchases were made at much lower prices, as the opportunity they saw may have passed. The good news for M&C Saatchi share holders is that an insider was buying at near the current price. Moray MacLennan was the only individual insider to buy shares in the last twelve months.
You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Insider Ownership of M&C Saatchi
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. M&C Saatchi insiders own about UK£36m worth of shares. That equates to 28% 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 M&C Saatchi Insider Transactions Indicate?
The recent insider purchase is heartening. And the longer term insider transactions also give us confidence. But on the other hand, the company made a loss during the last year, which makes us a little cautious. When combined with notable insider ownership, these factors suggest M&C Saatchi insiders are well aligned, and that they may think the share price is too low. So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with M&C Saatchi (including 2 which are significant).
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 currently account for open market transactions and private dispositions, but not derivative transactions.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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