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Read This Before Buying Freshpet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT) Shares

Simply Wall St

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. On the other hand, we'd be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Freshpet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT).

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

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

Check out our latest analysis for Freshpet

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Freshpet

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Chief Financial Officer, Richard Kassar, for US$716k worth of shares, at about US$47.75 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$49.61, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. 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 833% of Richard Kassar's holding. The only individual insider seller over the last year was Richard Kassar.

The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NasdaqGM:FRPT Recent Insider Trading, September 21st 2019

I will like Freshpet better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

Freshpet Insiders Bought Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider buying at Freshpet. Specifically, Director J. Basto bought US$247k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any sales whatsoever. That shows some optimism about the company's future.

Insider Ownership of Freshpet

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by 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. It appears that Freshpet insiders own 5.0% of the company, worth about US$89m. 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 Freshpet Insiders?

It's certainly positive to see the recent insider purchase. However, the longer term transactions are not so encouraging. While recent transactions indicate confidence in Freshpet, insiders don't own enough of the company to overcome our cautiousness about the longer term transactions. So they seem pretty well aligned, overall. 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.

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 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.