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Read This Before Selling Athabasca Oil Corporation (TSE:ATH) Shares

Simply Wall St

We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Athabasca Oil Corporation (TSE:ATH).

What Is Insider Buying?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. 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 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.

See our latest analysis for Athabasca Oil

Athabasca Oil Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Independent Director Thomas Ebbern for CA$108k worth of shares, at about CA$1.08 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being CA$0.36). While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company's future. To us, it's very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock if insiders have bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price.

Athabasca Oil insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

TSX:ATH Recent Insider Trading, December 6th 2019

Athabasca Oil is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Have Athabasca Oil Insiders Traded Recently?

There was some insider buying at Athabasca Oil over the last quarter. Insiders shelled out CA$9.7k for shares in that time. It's great to see that insiders are only buying, not selling. But in this case the amount purchased means the recent transaction may not be very meaningful on its own.

Insider Ownership of Athabasca Oil

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. From looking at our data, insiders own CA$1.5m worth of Athabasca Oil stock, about 0.8% of the company. We prefer to see high levels of insider ownership.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Athabasca Oil Tell Us?

Our data shows a little insider buying, but no selling, in the last three months. The net investment is not enough to encourage us much. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. While we have no worries about the insider transactions, we'd be more comfortable if they owned more Athabasca Oil stock. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Athabasca Oil.

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.