It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 we’ll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV).
What Is Insider Buying?
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 it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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 AeroVironment
VP & GM of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Kirk Flittie made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$266k worth of shares at a price of US$72.76 each. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$80.43). While sellers have a variety of reasons for selling, this isn’t particularly great to see. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price. Please note, however, that this single sale was just 4.9% of Kirk Flittie’s stake.
We note that in the last year insiders divested 4.40k shares for a total of US$324k. Over the last year we saw more insider selling of AeroVironment shares, than buying. The average sell price was around US$73.60. It’s not ideal to see that insiders have sold at around the current price. But we don’t put too much weight on the insider selling, since sellers could have personal reasons. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
If you are like me, then you will 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. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. AeroVironment insiders own about US$198m worth of shares (which is 10% of the company). This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About AeroVironment Insiders?
There haven’t been any insider transactions in the last three months — that doesn’t mean much. It’s heartening that insiders own plenty of stock, but we’d like to see more insider buying, since the last year of AeroVironment insider transactions don’t fill us with confidence. 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.
Of course AeroVironment may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.
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 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.