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 before you buy or sell TimkenSteel Corporation (NYSE:TMST), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Buying?
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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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'.
TimkenSteel Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Chairman Ward Timken bought US$185k worth of shares at a price of US$6.15 per share. That means that even when the share price was higher than US$5.14 (the recent price), an insider wanted to purchase shares. It's very possible they regret the purchase, but it's more likely they are bullish about the company. To us, it's very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when insiders have purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price.
Happily, we note that in the last year insiders bought 47350 shares for a total of US$309k. In the last twelve months TimkenSteel insiders were buying shares, but not selling. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
TimkenSteel is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
TimkenSteel Insiders Bought Stock Recently
Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider buying at TimkenSteel. Not only was there no selling that we can see, but they collectively bought US$233k worth of shares. This makes one think the business has some good points.
Insider Ownership of TimkenSteel
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Insiders own 6.1% of TimkenSteel shares, worth about US$14m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
What Might The Insider Transactions At TimkenSteel Tell Us?
It is good to see recent purchasing. We also take confidence from the longer term picture of insider transactions. But we don't feel the same about the fact the company is making losses. When combined with notable insider ownership, these factors suggest TimkenSteel insiders are well aligned, and that they may think the share price is too low. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in TimkenSteel, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
But note: TimkenSteel 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 email@example.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.