We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX:RHC), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Buying?
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.
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 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'.
Ramsay Health Care Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Independent Non-Executive Director Claudia Ricarda Rita Dyckerhoff bought AU$166k worth of shares at a price of AU$66.25 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of AU$64.40. Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when insiders have purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price.
In the last twelve months Ramsay Health Care insiders were buying shares, but not selling. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and 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!
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Insider Ownership of Ramsay Health Care
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Ramsay Health Care insiders own about AU$314m worth of shares (which is 2.1% of the company). Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.
So What Do The Ramsay Health Care Insider Transactions Indicate?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. It would be great to see more insider buying, but overall it seems like Ramsay Health Care insiders are reasonably well aligned (owning significant chunk of the company's shares) and optimistic for the future. So while it's helpful to know what insiders are doing in terms of buying or selling, it's also helpful to know the risks that a particular company is facing. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for Ramsay Health Care you should be aware of, and 1 of them can't be ignored.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity 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.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email email@example.com.