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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Lithium Americas Corp. (TSE:LAC).
What Is Insider Selling?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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.
Lithium Americas Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Executive Vice Chairman John Kanellitsas made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for CA$440k worth of shares at a price of CA$4.76 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being CA$4.06). While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company's future. 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.
Lithium Americas insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
Lithium Americas is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Does Lithium Americas Boast High Insider Ownership?
For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It appears that Lithium Americas insiders own 5.6% of the company, worth about CA$20m. 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 Does This Data Suggest About Lithium Americas Insiders?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. Overall we don't see anything to make us think Lithium Americas insiders are doubting the company, and they do own shares. 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 currently account for open market transactions and private dispositions, but not derivative transactions.
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