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 NewMarket Corporation (NYSE:NEU).
What Is Insider Selling?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
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 NewMarket
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Chairman, Thomas Gottwald, sold US$4.8m worth of shares at a price of US$441 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even slightly below the current price of US$445. When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. Please do note, however, that sellers may have a variety of reasons for selling, so we don't know for sure what they think of the stock price. We note that the biggest single sale was only 2% of Thomas Gottwald's holding.
Over the last year, we note insiders sold 11500 shares worth US$5.0m. Insiders in NewMarket 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. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Insider Ownership of NewMarket
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. It's great to see that NewMarket insiders own 34% of the company, worth about US$1.7b. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At NewMarket Tell Us?
The fact that there have been no NewMarket insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. It's heartening that insiders own plenty of stock, but we'd like to see more insider buying, since the last year of NewMarket insider transactions don't fill us with confidence. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for NewMarket.
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 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.