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Read This Before Buying Hexcel Corporation (NYSE:HXL) Shares

Simply Wall St

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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 before you buy or sell Hexcel Corporation (NYSE:HXL), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Selling?

It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. As Peter Lynch said, 'insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise.'

View our latest analysis for Hexcel

Hexcel Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

The President of Aerospace, Thierry Merlot, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$230k worth of shares at a price of US$71.00 each. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$73.16). We generally consider it a negative if insiders have been selling on market, especially if they did so below the current price, because it implies that they considered a lower price to be reasonable. 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. It is worth noting that this sale was only 7.5% of Thierry Merlot's holding.

In total, Hexcel insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. 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!

NYSE:HXL Recent Insider Trading, May 30th 2019

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).

Insiders at Hexcel Have Sold Stock Recently

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Hexcel shares. In total, insiders dumped US$285k 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.

Does Hexcel Boast High Insider Ownership?

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Insiders own 0.9% of Hexcel shares, worth about US$55m. 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 Hexcel Insiders?

Insiders sold Hexcel shares recently, but they didn't buy any. Despite some insider buying, the longer term picture doesn't make us feel much more positive. But it is good to see that Hexcel is growing earnings. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. So we'd only buy after careful consideration. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Hexcel, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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.