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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 before you buy or sell Appian Corporation (NASDAQ:APPN), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Buying?
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 it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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 Appian
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Director, A. G. Biddle, for US$355k worth of shares, at about US$36.00 per share. So we know that an insider sold shares at around the present share price of US$32.60. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take price 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. A. G. Biddle was the only individual insider to sell shares in the last twelve months.
A. G. Biddle divested 18000 shares over the last 12 months at an average price of US$35.97. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
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).
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It's great to see that Appian insiders own 8.8% of the company, worth about US$185m. 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 Appian Insider Transactions Indicate?
An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And even if we look to the last year, we didn't see any purchases. 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 Appian, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt.
For the purposes of this article, insiders are those individuals who report their transactions to the relevant regulatory body.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.