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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS).
What Is Insider Buying?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.
We don’t think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that ‘insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.’
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Steelcase
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the President, James Keane, sold US$1.7m worth of shares at a price of US$17.45 per share. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$16.19. While we don’t usually like to see insider selling, it’s more concerning if the sales take place at a lower price. In this case, the big sale took place at around the current price, so it’s not too bad (but it’s still not a positive).
In the last twelve months insiders netted US$4.7m for 267k shares sold. Insiders in Steelcase didn’t buy any shares in the last year. 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!
Steelcase Insiders Are Selling The Stock
Over the last three months, we’ve seen significant insider selling at Steelcase. In total, insiders dumped US$2.6m worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it’s not the be all and end all.
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Steelcase insiders own about US$465m worth of shares (which is 25% of the company). 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 Do The Steelcase Insider Transactions Indicate?
Insiders sold Steelcase shares recently, but they didn’t buy any. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn’t show any insider buying. But since Steelcase is profitable and growing, we’re not too worried by this. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.
Of course Steelcase may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.
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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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. Thank you for reading.