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 before you buy or sell TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
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 in the company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
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. As Peter Lynch said, 'insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At TreeHouse Foods
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Executive VP, Thomas O'Neill, for US$605k worth of shares, at about US$56.95 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$56.45. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. We note that this sale took place at around the current price, so it isn't a major concern, though it's hardly a good sign.
All up, insiders sold more shares in TreeHouse Foods than they bought, over the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Insiders at TreeHouse Foods Have Sold Stock Recently
The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of TreeHouse Foods shares. In total, insiders dumped US$760k 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 of TreeHouse Foods
Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It appears that TreeHouse Foods insiders own 2.0% of the company, worth about US$63m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
What Might The Insider Transactions At TreeHouse Foods Tell Us?
Insiders sold TreeHouse Foods shares recently, but they didn't buy any. Despite some insider buying, the longer term picture doesn't make us feel much more positive. While insiders do own shares, they don't own a heap, and they have been selling. So we'd only buy after careful consideration. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in TreeHouse Foods, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
Of course TreeHouse Foods 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.
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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.