We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. On the other hand, we'd be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Cars.com Inc. (NYSE:CARS).
What Is Insider Buying?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Cars.com
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Co-Founder T. Vetter bought US$204k worth of shares at a price of US$10.19 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, at around the current price, which is US$12.24. 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. If someone buys shares at well below current prices, it's a good sign on balance, but keep in mind they may no longer see value. In this case we're pleased to report that the insider purchases were made at close to current prices.
While Cars.com insiders bought shares last year, they didn't sell. You can see the insider transactions (by 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!
Cars.com is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
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. Our data indicates that Cars.com insiders own about US$6.7m worth of shares (which is 0.8% of the company). Whilst better than nothing, we're not overly impressed by these holdings.
So What Do The Cars.com Insider Transactions Indicate?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Cars.com shares in the last quarter. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. The transactions are fine but it'd be more encouraging if Cars.com insiders bought more shares in the company. 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.
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.
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