We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. On the other hand, we'd be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So before you buy or sell Thomas Cook Group plc (LON:TCG), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
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 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Thomas Cook Group
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Non-Executive Chairman Frank L. Meysman bought UK£89k worth of shares at a price of UK£0.60 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of UK£0.12. While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company's future. 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.
Over the last year, we can see that insiders have bought 964k shares worth UK£288k. While Thomas Cook Group insiders bought shares last year, they didn't sell. They paid about UK£0.30 on average. I'd consider this a positive as it suggests insiders see value at around the current price. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
Thomas Cook Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It appears that Thomas Cook Group insiders own 8.3% of the company, worth about UK£16m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
So What Do The Thomas Cook Group Insider Transactions Indicate?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Thomas Cook Group shares in the last quarter. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. Insiders own shares in Thomas Cook Group and we see no evidence to suggest they are worried about the future. If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.
But note: Thomas Cook Group may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE 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.
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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.