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Possible bearish signals as McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) insiders disposed of US$3.7m worth of stock

In the last year, many McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) insiders sold a substantial stake in the company which may have sparked shareholders' attention. When analyzing insider transactions, it is usually more valuable to know whether insiders are buying versus knowing if they are selling, as the latter sends an ambiguous message. 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.

See our latest analysis for McDonald's

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At McDonald's

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Executive VP & CFO, Ian Borden, sold US$2.0m worth of shares at a price of US$256 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$255. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take place 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, McDonald's insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

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.

McDonald's Insiders Are Selling The Stock

Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at McDonald's. In total, insiders dumped US$3.2m 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.

Insider Ownership

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. McDonald's insiders own about US$177m worth of shares (which is 0.09% of the company). This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At McDonald's Tell Us?

Insiders sold McDonald's shares recently, but they didn't buy any. And our longer term analysis of insider transactions didn't bring confidence, either. While insiders do own a lot of shares in the company (which is good), our analysis of their transactions doesn't make us feel confident about the company. So while it's helpful to know what insiders are doing in terms of buying or selling, it's also helpful to know the risks that a particular company is facing. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 2 warning signs with McDonald's and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Of course McDonald's 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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