Read This Before Selling 2U, Inc. (NASDAQ:TWOU) Shares

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 2U, Inc. (NASDAQ:TWOU).

What Is Insider Selling?

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.

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. 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 2U

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At 2U

In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when insider Gregory Peters bought US$1.0m worth of shares at a price of US$13.95 per share. Even though the purchase was made at a significantly lower price than the recent price (US$23.95), we still think insider buying is a positive. Because it occurred at a lower valuation, it doesn’t tell us much about whether insiders might find today’s price attractive.

Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid US$3.8m for 245556 shares. But they sold 1802 for US$71k. Overall, 2U insiders were net buyers last year. Their average price was about US$15.56. It is certainly positive to see that insiders have invested their own money in the company. However, you should keep in mind that they bought when the share price was meaningfully below today’s levels. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NasdaqGS:TWOU Recent Insider Trading, November 26th 2019
NasdaqGS:TWOU Recent Insider Trading, November 26th 2019

There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Insider Ownership

I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. It appears that 2U insiders own 2.3% of the company, worth about US$35m. 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 2U Tell Us?

It doesn’t really mean much that no insider has traded 2U shares in the last quarter. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. Insiders do have a stake in 2U and their transactions don’t cause us concern. 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.

But note: 2U 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.

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.