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How Much Are Greggs plc (LON:GRG) Insiders Taking Off The Table?

Simply Wall St

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 Greggs plc (LON:GRG).

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. 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. 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.'

Check out our latest analysis for Greggs

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Greggs

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the CEO & Director, Roger Whiteside, sold UK£359k worth of shares at a price of UK£22.64 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of UK£20.48. While insider selling is a negative, to us, it is more negative if the shares are sold at a lower price. Given that the sale took place at around current prices, it makes us a little cautious but is hardly a major concern.

In the last twelve months insiders netted UK£401k for 18128 shares sold. Greggs insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

LSE:GRG Recent Insider Trading, September 16th 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Greggs Insiders Are Selling The Stock

Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Greggs. Specifically, Roger Whiteside ditched UK£359k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.

Insider Ownership

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 appears that Greggs insiders own 0.4% of the company, worth about UK£8.2m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Greggs Insiders?

An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. But since Greggs is profitable and growing, we're not too worried by this. When you consider that most companies have higher levels of insider ownership, we're a little wary. As the saying goes, only fools rush in. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Greggs.

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.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.