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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
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, 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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.'
Chipotle Mexican Grill Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Independent Director, Albert Baldocchi, for US$902k worth of shares, at about US$775 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$828, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. This single sale was just 1.6% of Albert Baldocchi's stake. The only individual insider seller over the last year was Albert Baldocchi.
The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It's great to see that Chipotle Mexican Grill insiders own 1.2% of the company, worth about US$285m. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.
So What Do The Chipotle Mexican Grill Insider Transactions Indicate?
An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn't show any insider buying. But it is good to see that Chipotle Mexican Grill is growing earnings. While insiders do own a lot of shares in the company (which is good), our analysis of their transactions doesn't make us feel confident about 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.
But note: Chipotle Mexican Grill 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.