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 before you buy or sell Axcelis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACLS), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Selling?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. 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'.
Axcelis Technologies Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
The Independent Director, Thomas Dennis, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$112k worth of shares at a price of US$22.43 each. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$19.96. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take place at a lower price. In this case, the big sale took place at around the current price, so it's not too bad (but it's still not a positive).
All up, insiders sold more shares in Axcelis Technologies than they bought, over the last year. 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!
If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Axcelis Technologies Insiders Bought Stock Recently
We saw some Axcelis Technologies insider buying shares in the last three months. Executive Vice President of Corporate Marketing & Strategy Douglas Lawson shelled out US$45k for shares in that time. It's great to see that insiders are only buying, not selling. But the amount invested in the last three months isn't enough for us too put much weight on it, as a single factor.
Insider Ownership of Axcelis Technologies
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. 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 Axcelis Technologies insiders own 1.9% of the company, worth about US$12m. 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 Does This Data Suggest About Axcelis Technologies Insiders?
Insider purchases may have been minimal, in the last three months, but there was no selling at all. That said, the purchases were not large. We don't take much encouragement from the transactions by Axcelis Technologies insiders. But we do like the fact that insiders own a fair chunk of the company. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Axcelis Technologies, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
But note: Axcelis Technologies may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE 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.