U.S. Markets closed

Should You Be Worried About Insider Transactions At Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO)?

Simply Wall St

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 Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Buying?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. 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'.

Check out our latest analysis for Altria Group

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Altria Group

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the insider, Ivan Feldman, for US$348k worth of shares, at about US$51.18 per share. So we know that an insider sold shares at around the present share price of US$46.34. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. Given that the sale took place at around current prices, it makes us a little cautious but is hardly a major concern.

All up, insiders sold more shares in Altria Group 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 want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NYSE:MO Recent Insider Trading, October 23rd 2019

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).

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. 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 Altria Group insiders own 0.1% of the company, worth about US$94m. 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 Altria Group Insiders?

The fact that there have been no Altria Group insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. Still, the insider transactions at Altria Group in the last 12 months are not very heartening. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Altria Group.

But note: Altria Group 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.