We’ve lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 HSBC Holdings plc (LON:HSBA).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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 HSBC Holdings
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Group CFO Ewen Stevenson bought UK£3.2m worth of shares at a price of UK£5.62 per share. So it’s clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being UK£3.80). It’s very possible they regret the purchase, but it’s more likely they are bullish about the company. 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 952.96k shares worth UK£5.4m. But they sold 94599 shares for UK£521k. Overall, HSBC Holdings insiders were net buyers during the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
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.
HSBC Holdings Insiders Bought Stock Recently
Over the last three months, we’ve seen a bit of insider buying at HSBC Holdings. insider Steven Guggenheimer bought UK£20k worth of shares in that time. It’s great to see that insiders are only buying, not selling. But in this case the amount purchased means the recent transaction may not be very meaningful on its own.
Insider Ownership of HSBC Holdings
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. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. HSBC Holdings insiders own about UK£53m worth of shares. That equates to 0.07% of the company. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it’s enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About HSBC Holdings Insiders?
We note a that there has been a bit of insider buying recently (but no selling). That said, the purchases were not large. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. Overall we don’t see anything to make us think HSBC Holdings insiders are doubting the company, and they do own 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. While conducting our analysis, we found that HSBC Holdings has 3 warning signs and it would be unwise to ignore these.
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.
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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. Thank you for reading.