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Have Insiders Been Buying WPP plc (LON:WPP) Shares?

Simply Wall St

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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. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell WPP plc (LON:WPP), 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.

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. 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.'

See our latest analysis for WPP

WPP Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by CEO & Executive Director Mark Read for UK£115k worth of shares, at about UK£11.45 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price. 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. That purchase may suggest an expectation of positive returns over the long term. Mark Read was the only individual insider to buy over the year.

You can see the insider transactions (by 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!

LSE:WPP Recent Insider Trading, March 31st 2019

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Insider Ownership of WPP

I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. 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's great to see that WPP insiders own 1.5% of the company, worth about UK£157m. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At WPP Tell Us?

It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded WPP shares in the last quarter. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. With high insider ownership and encouraging transactions, it seems like WPP insiders think the business has merit. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in WPP, 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.

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.