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Have Insiders Been Buying Pearson plc (LON:PSON) Shares?

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·3-min read
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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. 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 Pearson plc (LON:PSON), 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, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. 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 Pearson

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Pearson

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Chief Executive & Director Adam Bird for UK£2.9m worth of shares, at about UK£5.11 per share. We do like to see buying, but this purchase was made at well below the current price of UK£8.43. Because it occurred at a lower valuation, it doesn't tell us much about whether insiders might find today's price attractive.

While Pearson insiders bought shares during the last year, they didn't sell. 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!

insider-trading-volume
insider-trading-volume

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.

Does Pearson Boast High Insider Ownership?

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. 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 Pearson insiders own 0.2% of the company, worth about UK£15m. 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 Pearson Tell Us?

There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. Insiders do have a stake in Pearson and their transactions don't cause us concern. While we like knowing what's going on with the insider's ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. At Simply Wall St, we've found that Pearson has 3 warning signs (1 is significant!) that deserve your attention before going any further with your analysis.

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 editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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