Did Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) Insiders Sell Shares?

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL).

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, 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 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.’

Check out our latest analysis for Stepan

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Stepan

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Director, Gregory Lawton, for US$201k worth of shares, at about US$91.14 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$95.39). We generally consider it a negative if insiders have been selling, especially if they did so below the current price, because it implies that they considered a lower price to be reasonable. Please do note, however, that sellers may have a variety of reasons for selling, so we don’t know for sure what they think of the stock price. This single sale was just 11.3% of Gregory Lawton’s stake.

All up, insiders sold more shares in Stepan than they bought, over 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!

NYSE:SCL Recent Insider Trading, September 1st 2019
NYSE:SCL Recent Insider Trading, September 1st 2019

Stepan Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last three months saw significant insider selling at Stepan. Specifically, insiders ditched US$593k worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.

Insider Ownership

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Stepan insiders own 11% of the company, currently worth about US$233m based on the recent share price. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Stepan Tell Us?

Insiders haven’t bought Stepan stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. Despite some insider buying, the longer term picture doesn’t make us feel much more positive. On the plus side, Stepan makes money, and is growing profits. While insiders do own a lot of shares in the company (which is good), our analysis of their transactions doesn’t make us feel confident about the company. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Stepan.

But note: Stepan 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.