Read This Before Buying McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC) Shares

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 we’ll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC).

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, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

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.’

Check out our latest analysis for McCormick

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At McCormick

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Independent Director, Margaret Mary Preston, sold US$596k worth of shares at a price of US$154 per share. That means that even when the share price was slightly below the current price of US$157, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. 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. We note that the biggest single sale was only 39% of Margaret Mary Preston’s holding.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 5935 shares for a total of US$915k. Insiders in McCormick didn’t buy any shares in 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:MKC Recent Insider Trading, September 12th 2019
NYSE:MKC Recent Insider Trading, September 12th 2019

Insiders at McCormick Have Sold Stock Recently

The last three months saw significant insider selling at McCormick. In total, Senior Vice President of Business Transformation Nneka Rimmer sold US$319k worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. In light of this it’s hard to argue that all the insiders think that the shares are a bargain.

Does McCormick Boast High Insider Ownership?

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. McCormick insiders own 0.6% of the company, currently worth about US$115m based on the recent share price. 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 McCormick Insider Transactions Indicate?

An insider sold stock recently, but they haven’t been buying. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn’t show any insider buying. The company boasts high insider ownership, but we’re a little hesitant, given the history of share sales. 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.

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.

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.