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Trade Alert: The Group President of Resource Industries Of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), Denise Johnson, Has Sold Some Shares Recently

Simply Wall St

We wouldn't blame Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) shareholders if they were a little worried about the fact that Denise Johnson, the Group President of Resource Industries recently netted about US$749k selling shares at an average price of US$147. That's a big dump, and it decreased their holding size by 31%, which is notable but not too bad.

See our latest analysis for Caterpillar

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Caterpillar

In fact, the recent sale by Denise Johnson was the biggest sale of Caterpillar shares made by an insider individual in the last twelve months, according to our records. That means that even when the share price was slightly below the current price of US$147, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. Please do note, however, that sellers may have a variety of reasons for selling, so we don't know for sure what they think of the stock price. We note that the biggest single sale was only 31%of Denise Johnson's holding.

You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

NYSE:CAT Recent Insider Trading, November 8th 2019

I will like Caterpillar better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

Insider Ownership

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It's great to see that Caterpillar insiders own 0.1% of the company, worth about US$121m. 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 Caterpillar Tell Us?

An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn't show any insider buying. But it is good to see that Caterpillar is growing earnings. The company boasts high insider ownership, but we're a little hesitant, given the history of share sales. 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.

But note: Caterpillar 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.