We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell AstiVita Limited (ASX:AIR), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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.'
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At AstiVita
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Non-Executive Chairman, Lev Mizikovsky, for AU$930k worth of shares, at about AU$0.093 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of AU$0.18, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. This single sale was 52.3% of Lev Mizikovsky's stake. Lev Mizikovsky was the only individual insider to sell over the last year. Notably Lev Mizikovsky was also the biggest buyer, having purchased AU$27k worth of shares.
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!
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AstiVita Insiders Are Selling The Stock
Over the last three months, we've seen notably more insider selling, than insider buying, at AstiVita. In that time, Lev Mizikovsky dumped AU$930k worth of shares. On the flip side, Non-Executive Chairman Lev Mizikovsky spent AU$1.0k on purchasing shares. Since the selling really does outweigh the buying, we'd say that these transactions may suggest that some insiders feel the shares are not cheap.
Does AstiVita Boast High Insider Ownership?
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. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. AstiVita insiders own about AU$3.2m worth of shares. That equates to 33% of the company. 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 Does This Data Suggest About AstiVita Insiders?
The insider sales have outweighed the insider buying, at AstiVita, in the last three months. Zooming out, the longer term picture doesn't give us much comfort. While insiders do own shares, they don't own a heap, and they have been selling. We're in no rush to buy! I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt.
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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.