Should You Be Worried About Insider Transactions At Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW)?

We’ve lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW).

What Is Insider Buying?

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, 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 Harvard University study found that ‘insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.

Check out our latest analysis for Illinois Tool Works

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Illinois Tool Works

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the insider, Andrew Mines, for US$187k worth of shares, at about US$168 per share. So it’s clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of US$175. 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 100% of Andrew Mines’s holding. Andrew Mines was the only individual insider to sell shares in the last twelve months.

You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NYSE:ITW Recent Insider Trading, February 3rd 2020
NYSE:ITW Recent Insider Trading, February 3rd 2020

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Does Illinois Tool Works Boast High 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. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. It’s great to see that Illinois Tool Works insiders own 1.0% of the company, worth about US$553m. 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 Does This Data Suggest About Illinois Tool Works Insiders?

It doesn’t really mean much that no insider has traded Illinois Tool Works shares in the last quarter. While we feel good about high insider ownership of Illinois Tool Works, we can’t say the same about the selling of shares. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Illinois Tool Works.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting 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.

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