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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 before you buy or sell Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Selling?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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'.
Chevron Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Independent Director Charles Moorman bought US$599k worth of shares at a price of US$91.43 per share. That means that even when the share price was higher than US$85.33 (the recent price), an insider wanted to purchase shares. Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. It is generally more encouraging if they paid above the current price, as it suggests they saw value, even at higher levels.
Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid US$825k for 8.95k shares. But insiders sold 5.75k shares worth US$529k. In the last twelve months there was more buying than selling by Chevron insiders. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Insiders at Chevron Have Bought Stock Recently
There was some insider buying at Chevron over the last quarter. Independent Director John Frank purchased US$36k worth of shares in that period. It's great to see that insiders are only buying, not selling. However, in this case the amount invested recently is quite small.
Insider Ownership of Chevron
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. 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 0.02% of Chevron shares, worth about US$25m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Chevron Tell Us?
Insider purchases may have been minimal, in the last three months, but there was no selling at all. That said, the purchases were not large. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Overall we don't see anything to make us think Chevron insiders are doubting the company, and they do own shares. In addition to knowing about insider transactions going on, it's beneficial to identify the risks facing Chevron. While conducting our analysis, we found that Chevron has 1 warning sign and it would be unwise to ignore it.
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.
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.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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