Did Rent.com.au Limited (ASX:RNT) Insiders Buy Up More Shares?

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 Rent.com.au Limited (ASX:RNT).

What Is Insider Buying?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. 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 equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Columbia University study found that ‘insiders are more likely to engage in open market purchases of their own company’s stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers’.

See our latest analysis for Rent.com.au

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Rent.com.au

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by insider Jason Carroll for AU$206k worth of shares, at about AU$0.05 per share. That means that an insider was happy to buy shares at above the current price of AU$0.038. It’s very possible they regret the purchase, but it’s more likely they are bullish about the company. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when insiders have purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price.

In the last twelve months insiders purchased 13.6m shares for AU$578k. But they sold 588k for AU$31k. In total, Rent.com.au insiders bought more than they sold over the last year. They paid about AU$0.042 on average. I’d consider this a positive as it suggests insiders see value at around the current price. 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!

ASX:RNT Recent Insider Trading, August 30th 2019
ASX:RNT Recent Insider Trading, August 30th 2019

Rent.com.au Insiders Bought Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we’ve seen significant insider buying at Rent.com.au. In total, insiders bought AU$138k worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any sales whatsoever. That shows some optimism about the company’s future.

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. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Rent.com.au insiders own about AU$3.7m worth of shares. That equates to 34% of the company. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it’s enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Rent.com.au Insiders?

It is good to see recent purchasing. And the longer term insider transactions also give us confidence. However, we note that the company didn’t make a profit over the last twelve months, which makes us cautious. Given that insiders also own a fair bit of Rent.com.au we think they are probably pretty confident of a bright future. To put this in context, take a look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .

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.

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.