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Should You Be Worried About Insider Transactions At Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO)?

Sam Bishop

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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 we’ll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO).

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

We don’t think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. 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 Harvard Bioscience

Harvard Bioscience Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by Robert Gagnon for US$449k worth of shares, at about US$4.62 per share. Although we don’t gain confidence from insider selling, we note that this large sale was at well above current price of US$3.44. So it may not tell us anything about how insiders feel about the current share price.

All up, insiders sold more shares in Harvard Bioscience than they bought, over the last year. They sold for an average price of about US$4.62. Insider selling doesn’t make us excited to buy. But we note that the selling, on average, was at well above the recently traded price of US$3.44. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NASDAQGM:HBIO Insider Trading February 8th 19

Harvard Bioscience is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Insiders at Harvard Bioscience Have Bought Stock Recently

We saw some Harvard Bioscience insider buying shares in the last three months. Chairman James Green bought US$14k worth of shares in that time. It’s great to see that insiders are only buying, not selling. However, in this case the amount invested recently is quite small.

Insider Ownership

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. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Insiders own 13% of Harvard Bioscience shares, worth about US$17m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Harvard Bioscience Insiders?

Our data shows a little more insider buying than selling in the last three months. But overall the difference isn’t worth writing home about. We don’t take much encouragement from the transactions by Harvard Bioscience insiders. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Harvard Bioscience, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course Harvard Bioscience may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.