We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Australian Agricultural Company Limited (ASX:AAC).
What Is Insider Selling?
Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Australian Agricultural
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when insider Bryan Glinton bought AU$7.1m worth of shares at a price of AU$1.18 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being AU$1.15). 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. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when an insider has purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price. Bryan Glinton was the only individual insider to buy over the year.
Bryan Glinton bought a total of 19.36m shares over the year at an average price of AU$1.06. 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!
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Australian Agricultural insiders own about AU$347m worth of shares (which is 50% of the company). Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Australian Agricultural Tell Us?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Australian Agricultural shares in the last quarter. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. With high insider ownership and encouraging transactions, it seems like Australian Agricultural insiders think the business has merit. So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Australian Agricultural you should know about.
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 email@example.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.
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