We’ve lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG).
What Is Insider Selling?
It’s quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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 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.
Macquarie Group Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by CEO, MD & Executive Voting Director Shemara Wikramanayake for AU$5.6m worth of shares, at about AU$120 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of AU$92.00. While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company’s future. In our view, the price an insider pays for shares is very important. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock if insiders have bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price.
Macquarie Group insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn’t sell any. 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!
Macquarie Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Does Macquarie Group Boast High 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. 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 Macquarie Group insiders own 1.1% of the company, worth about AU$317m. 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 Macquarie Group Insider Transactions Indicate?
There haven’t been any insider transactions in the last three months — that doesn’t mean much. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. It would be great to see more insider buying, but overall it seems like Macquarie Group insiders are reasonably well aligned (owning significant chunk of the company’s shares) and optimistic for the future. 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. For example – Macquarie Group has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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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