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Should You Be Worried About Insider Transactions At Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE)?

Simply Wall St

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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE).

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.'

Check out our latest analysis for Alexandria Real Estate Equities

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Alexandria Real Estate Equities

The Founder & Executive Chairman, Joel Marcus, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$6.4m worth of shares at a price of US$143 each. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$146, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can't be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it's only a weak sign. We note that the biggest single sale was only 8.2% of Joel Marcus's holding.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 328k shares for a total of US$44m. In the last year Alexandria Real Estate Equities insiders didn't buy any company stock. 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!

NYSE:ARE Recent Insider Trading, August 9th 2019

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

Insiders at Alexandria Real Estate Equities Have Sold Stock Recently

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Alexandria Real Estate Equities shares. In total, insiders sold US$7.6m 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

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company 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. Alexandria Real Estate Equities insiders own 1.4% of the company, currently worth about US$230m based on the recent share price. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Alexandria Real Estate Equities Insiders?

Insiders haven't bought Alexandria Real Estate Equities stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn't show any insider buying. But since Alexandria Real Estate Equities is profitable and growing, we're not too worried by this. 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 Alexandria Real Estate Equities, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course Alexandria Real Estate Equities may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.

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.