We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 LivePerson, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPSN), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
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. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At LivePerson
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Founder, Robert LoCascio, sold US$5.8m worth of shares at a price of US$19.51 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$28.79, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. 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. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. It is worth noting that this sale was only 6% of Robert LoCascio's holding.
We note that in the last year insiders divested 474k shares for a total of US$9.5m. LivePerson insiders didn't buy any shares over 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!
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
LivePerson Insiders Are Selling The Stock
The last three months saw significant insider selling at LivePerson. In total, insiders sold US$683k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it's not the be all and end all.
Insider Ownership of LivePerson
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. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. LivePerson insiders own 7.1% of the company, currently worth about US$133m 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.
What Might The Insider Transactions At LivePerson Tell Us?
Insiders haven't bought LivePerson stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. While insiders do own a lot of shares in the company (which is good), our analysis of their transactions doesn't make us feel confident about the company. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in LivePerson, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.