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How Much Are B2Gold Corp. (TSE:BTO) Insiders Taking Off The Table?

Simply Wall St

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 B2Gold Corp. (TSE:BTO).

What Is Insider Selling?

It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. 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.'

View our latest analysis for B2Gold

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At B2Gold

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the President, Clive Johnson, sold CA$5.2m worth of shares at a price of CA$3.75 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (CA$4.86). As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can't be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it's only a weak sign. We note that the biggest single sale was only 21.5% of Clive Johnson's holding.

Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid CA$192k for 61310 shares. On the other hand they divested 4.2m shares, for CA$15m. In total, B2Gold insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. The average sell price was around US$3.69. It's not particularly great to see insiders were selling shares at below recent prices. Since insiders sell for many reasons, we wouldn't put too much weight on it. 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!

TSX:BTO Recent Insider Trading, August 12th 2019

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

Insiders at B2Gold Have Sold Stock Recently

We have seen a bit of insider selling at B2Gold, over the last three months. Independent Director Kevin Bullock sold US$44k worth of shares in that time. But at least we saw US$14k worth of buying. While it's not great to see insider selling, the net amount sold isn't enough for us to want to read anything into it.

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. Insiders own 1.9% of B2Gold shares, worth about CA$95m. 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 B2Gold Tell Us?

We note that there's been a little more insider selling than buying, recently. But the difference is small, and thus, not concerning. Recent insider selling makes us a little nervous, in light of the broader picture of B2Gold insider transactions. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. 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: B2Gold 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.

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.