We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Altus Group Limited (TSE:AIF).
What Is Insider Selling?
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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'
Altus Group Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the insider, Niall McSweeney, for CA$295k worth of shares, at about CA$29.58 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of CA$39.00, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. We generally consider it a negative if insiders have been selling, especially if they did so below the current price, because it implies that they considered a lower price to be reasonable. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. This single sale was just 25.1% of Niall McSweeney's stake.
In total, Altus Group insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. 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 are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Insiders at Altus Group Have Sold Stock Recently
Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Altus Group. In total, insiders sold CA$150k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it's not the be all and end all.
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. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Insiders own 1.1% of Altus Group shares, worth about CA$17m. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.
So What Do The Altus Group Insider Transactions Indicate?
Insiders sold Altus Group shares recently, but they didn't buy any. Zooming out, the longer term picture doesn't give us much comfort. 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.
But note: Altus Group 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.
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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.