Read This Before Buying BHP Group (ASX:BHP) Shares

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 before you buy or sell BHP Group (ASX:BHP), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

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 would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. 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 BHP Group

BHP Group Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Chief Financial Officer, Peter Beaven, sold AU$1.8m worth of shares at a price of AU$32.19 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (AU$36.30). As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can’t be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it’s only a weak sign. It is worth noting that this sale was only 19% of Peter Beaven’s holding. The only individual insider seller over the last year was Peter Beaven.

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!

ASX:BHP Recent Insider Trading, August 21st 2019
ASX:BHP Recent Insider Trading, August 21st 2019

Insider Ownership of BHP Group

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Insiders own 0.04% of BHP Group shares, worth about AU$66m. We’ve certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At BHP Group Tell Us?

The fact that there have been no BHP Group insider transactions recently certainly doesn’t bother us. Our analysis of BHP Group insider transactions leaves us cautious. But it’s good to see that insiders own shares in the company. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for BHP Group.

Of course BHP Group 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.

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.