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Founder & Chairman Is The Founder & Chairman of Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) And They Just Sold 42% Of Their Shares

Simply Wall St

We wouldn't blame Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) shareholders if they were a little worried about the fact that Sidney DeBoer, the Founder & Chairman recently netted about US$2.3m selling shares at an average price of US$152. That's a big dump, and it decreased their holding size by 42%, which is notable but not too bad.

View our latest analysis for Lithia Motors

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Lithia Motors

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the CEO, President & Director, Bryan DeBoer, for US$2.5m worth of shares, at about US$89.83 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$160, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. It is worth noting that this sale was only 18% of Bryan DeBoer's holding.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 69998 shares for a total of US$7.8m. In the last year Lithia Motors insiders didn't buy any company stock. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NYSE:LAD Recent Insider Trading, October 30th 2019

I will like Lithia Motors better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

Insider Ownership of Lithia Motors

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 Lithia Motors insiders own 2.0% of the company, worth about US$76m. 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 Lithia Motors Tell Us?

Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. We'd think twice before buying! Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Lithia Motors, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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 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.