Need To Know: BHP Group (ASX:BHP) Insiders Have Been Selling Shares

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 BHP Group (ASX:BHP), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Selling?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

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.’

View our latest analysis for BHP Group

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At BHP Group

The Chief Financial Officer, Peter Beaven, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for AU$1.8m worth of shares at a price of AU$32.19 each. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (AU$39.58). When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it’s only a weak signal. It is worth noting that this sale was only 19% of Peter Beaven’s holding. The only individual insider seller over the last year was Peter Beaven.

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!

ASX:BHP Recent Insider Trading, April 14th 2019
ASX:BHP Recent Insider Trading, April 14th 2019

If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love 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. BHP Group insiders own about AU$69m worth of shares. That equates to 0.04% of the company. We’ve certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

So What Do The BHP Group Insider Transactions Indicate?

There haven’t been any insider transactions in the last three months — that doesn’t mean much. Still, the insider transactions at BHP Group in the last 12 months are not very heartening. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. 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.

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.