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Possible bearish signals as Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) insiders disposed of US$666k worth of stock

Quite a few Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) insiders sold their shares over the past year, which may be a cause for concern. When analyzing insider transactions, it is usually more valuable to know whether insiders are buying versus knowing if they are selling, as the latter sends an ambiguous message. However, shareholders should take a deeper look if several insiders are selling stock over a specific time period.

Although we don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions, logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares.

View our latest analysis for Target

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Target

The insider, Robert Harrison, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$453k worth of shares at a price of US$218 each. While we don't usually like to see insider selling, it's more concerning if the sales take place at a lower price. It's of some comfort that this sale was conducted at a price well above the current share price, which is US$163. So it may not shed much light on insider confidence at current levels.

Insiders in Target didn't buy any shares in the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and 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!

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insider-trading-volume

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insider Ownership

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Target insiders own 0.2% of the company, currently worth about US$168m based on the recent share price. Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Target Insiders?

There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. While we feel good about high insider ownership of Target, we can't say the same about the selling of shares. So while it's helpful to know what insiders are doing in terms of buying or selling, it's also helpful to know the risks that a particular company is facing. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Target (including 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable).

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.

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