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 JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX:JBH), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
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, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.
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. As Peter Lynch said, 'insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise'.
JB Hi-Fi Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Group CEO & Executive Director, Richard Murray, sold AU$772k worth of shares at a price of AU$50.72 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of AU$52.05. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. It is worth noting that this sale was only 9.9% of Richard Murray's holding.
In the last twelve months insiders purchased 2.50k shares for AU$123k. But insiders sold 19.23k shares worth AU$941k. All up, insiders sold more shares in JB Hi-Fi than they bought, over the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
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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. Insiders own 0.7% of JB Hi-Fi shares, worth about AU$43m. 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 Do The JB Hi-Fi Insider Transactions Indicate?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded JB Hi-Fi shares in the last quarter. Our analysis of JB Hi-Fi insider transactions leaves us cautious. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. 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. To help with this, we've discovered 2 warning signs (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that you ought to be aware of before buying any shares in JB Hi-Fi.
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.
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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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