U.S. Markets closed

How Much Are HCA Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:HCA) Insiders Taking Off The Table?

Simply Wall St

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!

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 HCA Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:HCA).

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, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. 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.'

View our latest analysis for HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

The , John Steele, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$4.7m worth of shares at a price of US$140 each. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$140. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take price 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.

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 109k shares worth US$14m. Insiders in HCA Healthcare didn't buy any shares in the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NYSE:HCA Recent Insider Trading, July 18th 2019

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Insiders at HCA Healthcare Have Sold Stock Recently

The last three months saw significant insider selling at HCA Healthcare. Specifically, President of American Group Jon Foster ditched US$2.3m 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.

Does HCA Healthcare 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. It's great to see that HCA Healthcare insiders own 1.6% of the company, worth about US$768m. 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 HCA Healthcare Insider Transactions Indicate?

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 HCA Healthcare is profitable and growing, we're not too worried by this. 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 HCA Healthcare, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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 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.