It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. On the other hand, we'd be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS).
What Is Insider Buying?
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.
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 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At VIVUS
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by CEO & Director John Amos for US$53k worth of shares, at about US$4.85 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of US$3.71. It's very possible they regret the purchase, but it's more likely they are bullish about the company. In our view, the price an insider pays for shares is very important. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock if insiders have bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price.
VIVUS insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
VIVUS is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Insider Ownership of VIVUS
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. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Our data indicates that VIVUS insiders own about US$3.3m worth of shares (which is 8.3% of the company). We do generally prefer see higher levels of insider ownership.
So What Does This Data Suggest About VIVUS Insiders?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. The transactions are fine but it'd be more encouraging if VIVUS insiders bought more shares in the company. If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.
But note: VIVUS may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE 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.
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 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.