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It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ:TREE).
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 on the market. 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 equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'
LendingTree Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Chief Financial Officer, J. Moriarty, for US$1.8m worth of shares, at about US$395 per share. So we know that an insider sold shares at around the present share price of US$387. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take price at a lower price. We note that this sale took place at around the current price, so it isn't a major concern, though it's hardly a good sign.
We note that in the last year insiders divested 16586 shares for a total of US$5.6m. In the last year LendingTree insiders didn't buy any company stock. 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!
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).
LendingTree Insiders Are Selling The Stock
The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of LendingTree shares. In total, insiders dumped US$3.3m 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. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It's great to see that LendingTree insiders own 14% of the company, worth about US$712m. 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 LendingTree Insider Transactions Indicate?
Insiders haven't bought LendingTree stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. And even if we look to the last year, we didn't see any purchases. On the plus side, LendingTree makes money, and is growing profits. The company boasts high insider ownership, but we're a little hesitant, given the history of share sales. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in LendingTree, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
Of course LendingTree may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.
For the purposes of this article, insiders are those individuals who report their transactions to the relevant regulatory body.
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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.