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Possible bearish signals as The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) insiders disposed of US$15m worth of stock

·3 min read

In the last year, many The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) insiders sold a substantial stake in the company which may have sparked shareholders' attention. Knowing whether insiders are buying is usually more helpful when evaluating insider transactions, as insider selling can have various explanations. However, when multiple insiders sell stock over a specific duration, shareholders should take notice as that could possibly be a red flag.

While insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing, logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares.

View our latest analysis for Coca-Cola

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Coca-Cola

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Executive VP & CFO, John Murphy, for US$3.3m worth of shares, at about US$62.29 per share. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$59.26. While insider selling is a negative, to us, it is more negative if the shares are sold at a lower price. We note that this sale took place at around the current price, so it isn't a major concern, though it's hardly a good sign.

In total, Coca-Cola insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

insider-trading-volume
insider-trading-volume

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

Coca-Cola Insiders Are Selling The Stock

Over the last three months, we've seen notably more insider selling, than insider buying, at Coca-Cola. We note insiders cashed in US$2.9m worth of shares. On the flip side, insider Carolyn Everson spent US$61k on purchasing shares (as mentioned above) . Because the selling vastly outweighs the buying, we'd say this is a somewhat bearish sign.

Does Coca-Cola Boast High Insider Ownership?

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Coca-Cola insiders own 0.7% of the company, currently worth about US$1.7b based on the recent share price. 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 Does This Data Suggest About Coca-Cola Insiders?

The stark truth for Coca-Cola is that there has been more insider selling than insider buying in the last three months. Despite some insider buying, the longer term picture doesn't make us feel much more positive. On the plus side, Coca-Cola makes money, and is growing profits. The company boasts high insider ownership, but we're a little hesitant, given the history of share sales. In addition to knowing about insider transactions going on, it's beneficial to identify the risks facing Coca-Cola. While conducting our analysis, we found that Coca-Cola has 2 warning signs and it would be unwise to ignore them.

Of course Coca-Cola may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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