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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in BELLUS Health Inc. (TSE:BLU).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
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, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. 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.'
BELLUS Health Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Director Franklin Berger bought CA$275k worth of shares at a price of CA$10.08 per share. That implies that an insider found the current price of CA$10.39 per share to be enticing. 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. If someone buys shares at well below current prices, it's a good sign on balance, but keep in mind they may no longer see value. Happily, the BELLUS Health insiders decided to buy shares at close to current prices.
Happily, we note that in the last year insiders bought 288k shares for a total of CA$1.1m. BELLUS Health insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. They paid about CA$3.99 on average. It is certainly positive to see that insiders have invested their own money in the company. However, you should keep in mind that they bought when the share price was meaningfully below today's levels. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
BELLUS Health Insiders Bought Stock Recently
It's good to see that BELLUS Health insiders have made notable investments in the company's shares. Specifically, Franklin Berger bought CA$275k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any sales whatsoever. That shows some optimism about the company's future.
Does BELLUS Health Boast High Insider Ownership?
Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. It appears that BELLUS Health insiders own 3.2% of the company, worth about CA$15m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
So What Do The BELLUS Health Insider Transactions Indicate?
The recent insider purchase is heartening. And the longer term insider transactions also give us confidence. However, we note that the company didn't make a profit over the last twelve months, which makes us cautious. Insiders likely see value in BELLUS Health shares, given these transactions (along with notable insider ownership of the company). If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt.
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.
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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. Thank you for reading.