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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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.'
Graco Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the insider, Jeffrey Johnson, for US$733k worth of shares, at about US$48.85 per share. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$44.13. While insider selling is a negative, to us, it is more negative if the shares are sold at a lower price. In this case, the big sale took place at around the current price, so it's not too bad (but it's still not a positive).
We note that in the last year insiders divested 30897 shares for a total of US$1.5m. Insiders in Graco didn't buy any shares in 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 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).
Graco Insiders Are Selling The Stock
Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Graco. In total, Jeffrey Johnson sold US$733k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Graco insiders own about US$82m worth of shares. That equates to 1.1% of the company. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Graco Tell Us?
An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. On the plus side, Graco 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. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Graco.
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.
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 email@example.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.