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Should You Be Worried About Insider Transactions At Marcus & Millichap, Inc. (NYSE:MMI)?

Simply Wall St

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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 Marcus & Millichap, Inc. (NYSE:MMI).

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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 Marcus & Millichap

Marcus & Millichap Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Executive VP & COO, Mitchell LaBar, for US$423k worth of shares, at about US$38.44 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$42.74, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. We generally consider it a negative if insiders have been selling on market, especially if they did so below the current price, because it implies that they considered a lower price to be reasonable. 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. This single sale was 96.3% of Mitchell LaBar's stake.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 51314 shares for a total of US$2.0m. Marcus & Millichap insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

NYSE:MMI Recent Insider Trading, May 8th 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Marcus & Millichap Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Marcus & Millichap shares. In total, insiders dumped US$776k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. In light of this it's hard to argue that all the insiders think that the shares are a bargain.

Insider Ownership of Marcus & Millichap

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. 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 Marcus & Millichap insiders own 1.7% of the company, worth about US$28m. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Marcus & Millichap Tell Us?

Insiders sold Marcus & Millichap shares recently, but they didn't buy any. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. On the plus side, Marcus & Millichap makes money, and is growing profits. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. So we'd only buy after careful consideration. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Marcus & Millichap, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course Marcus & Millichap 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 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.