Read This Before Buying Northland Power Inc. (TSE:NPI) 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 Northland Power Inc. (TSE:NPI), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

Do Insider Transactions Matter?

It’s quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

We don’t think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. For example, a Columbia University study found that ‘insiders are more likely to engage in open market purchases of their own company‚Äôs stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers’.

See our latest analysis for Northland Power

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Northland Power

The Director, James Temerty, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for CA$863m worth of shares at a price of CA$23.35 each. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of CA$32.95, 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. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it’s only a weak signal. It is worth noting that this sale was 65% of James Temerty’s holding.

In total, Northland Power insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

TSX:NPI Recent Insider Trading, March 5th 2020
TSX:NPI Recent Insider Trading, March 5th 2020

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insider Ownership

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It’s great to see that Northland Power insiders own 6.3% of the company, worth about CA$385m. 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 Do The Northland Power Insider Transactions Indicate?

It doesn’t really mean much that no insider has traded Northland Power shares in the last quarter. It’s great to see high levels of insider ownership, but looking back at the last year, we don’t gain confidence from the Northland Power insiders selling. While we like knowing what’s going on with the insider’s ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. Every company has risks, and we’ve spotted 2 warning signs for Northland Power (of which 1 is a bit unpleasant!) you should know about.

Of course Northland Power 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.