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Read This Before Buying Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA) Shares

Simply Wall St

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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 before you buy or sell Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA), 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, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

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

View our latest analysis for Zebra Technologies

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Zebra Technologies

The Independent Director, Andrew Ludwick, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$6.1m worth of shares at a price of US$180 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of US$227. 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. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can't be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it's only a weak sign. It is worth noting that this sale was 97.3% of Andrew Ludwick's holding.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 152k shares for a total of US$28m. Insiders in Zebra 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!

NasdaqGS:ZBRA Recent Insider Trading, May 1st 2019

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

Zebra Technologies Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last three months saw significant insider selling at Zebra Technologies. In total, insiders sold US$16m worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. In light of this it's hard to argue that all the insiders think that the shares are a bargain.

Does Zebra Technologies Boast High Insider Ownership?

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. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Zebra Technologies insiders own 1.3% of the company, currently worth about US$154m based on the recent share price. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.

So What Do The Zebra Technologies Insider Transactions Indicate?

Insiders 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 Zebra Technologies is growing earnings. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Zebra Technologies.

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.