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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Lookers plc (LON:LOOK).
What Is Insider Selling?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.
Lookers Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
The insider Peter Jones made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for UK£1.6m worth of shares at a price of UK£0.38 each. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of UK£0.20. It's very possible they regret the purchase, but it's more likely they are bullish about the company. To us, it's very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. It is generally more encouraging if they paid above the current price, as it suggests they saw value, even at higher levels.
Lookers insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. Their average price was about UK£0.46. I'd consider this a positive as it suggests insiders see value at around the current price. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
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 Lookers 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. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Insiders own 11% of Lookers shares, worth about UK£8.5m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Lookers 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. The transactions are fine but it'd be more encouraging if Lookers insiders bought more shares in the company. 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 5 warning signs we've spotted with Lookers (including 2 which make us 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.
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.
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