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Read This Before Buying Ashtead Group plc (LON:AHT) Shares

Simply Wall St

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 Ashtead Group plc (LON:AHT).

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

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 Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'

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Check out our latest analysis for Ashtead Group

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Ashtead Group

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the , Ian Sutcliffe, sold UK£585k worth of shares at a price of UK£23.89 per share. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. The silver lining is that this sell-down took place above the latest price (UK£19.64). So it may not shed much light on insider confidence at current levels. Ian Sutcliffe was the only individual insider to sell over the last year. Notably Ian Sutcliffe was also the biggest buyer, having purchased UK£272k worth of shares.

Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid UK£272k for 14933 shares. On the other hand they divested 24500 shares, for UK£585k. 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!

LSE:AHT Recent Insider Trading, May 25th 2019

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Insider Ownership of Ashtead Group

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. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Insiders own 0.2% of Ashtead Group shares, worth about UK£20m. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Ashtead Group Insiders?

It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Ashtead Group shares in the last quarter. We don't take much encouragement from the transactions by Ashtead Group insiders. But it's good to see that insiders own 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.

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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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.