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Read This Before Buying Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:KEYS) 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 Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:KEYS).

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, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. 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'.

See our latest analysis for Keysight Technologies

Keysight Technologies Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the CFO & Senior VP, Neil Dougherty, sold US$2.2m worth of shares at a price of US$84.83 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$88.47, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. It is worth noting that this sale was only 24.9% of Neil Dougherty's holding.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 110k shares for a total of US$8.2m. Insiders in Keysight Technologies didn't buy any shares in the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NYSE:KEYS Recent Insider Trading, August 15th 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insiders at Keysight Technologies Have Sold Stock Recently

The last three months saw significant insider selling at Keysight Technologies. Specifically, Director James Cullen ditched US$1.2m worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.

Insider Ownership of Keysight Technologies

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. Keysight Technologies insiders own about US$59m worth of shares. That equates to 0.4% of the company. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Keysight Technologies Insiders?

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. But it is good to see that Keysight Technologies is growing earnings. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. We'd think twice before buying! Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Keysight Technologies, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course Keysight Technologies 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.

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.