It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (SGX:O39).
What Is Insider Selling?
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, 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 it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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.
Oversea-Chinese Banking Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Non-Executive & Non-Independent Director Tih Shih Lee bought S$2.5m worth of shares at a price of S$10.55 per share. So it’s clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being S$9.12). 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. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. It is generally more encouraging if they paid above the current price, as it suggests they saw value, even at higher levels.
Oversea-Chinese Banking insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn’t sell any. 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!
There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Does Oversea-Chinese Banking Boast High Insider Ownership?
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. It’s great to see that Oversea-Chinese Banking insiders own 0.4% of the company, worth about S$143m. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Oversea-Chinese Banking Insiders?
There haven’t been any insider transactions in the last three months — that doesn’t mean much. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. With high insider ownership and encouraging transactions, it seems like Oversea-Chinese Banking insiders think the business has merit. 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. When we did our research, we found 2 warning signs for Oversea-Chinese Banking (1 is concerning!) that we believe deserve your full attention.
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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