Have Insiders Been Buying Stella-Jones Inc. (TSE:SJ) 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 we’ll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Stella-Jones Inc. (TSE:SJ).

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, 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’.

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The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Stella-Jones

President Brian McManus made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for CA$2.0m worth of shares at a price of CA$40.63 each. That implies that an insider found the current (approximate) price enticing. That means they have been optimistic about the company in the past, though they may have changed their mind. Nonetheless, we consider it positive if insiders want to buy at around the current share price.

Over the last year, we can see that insiders have bought 56.60k shares worth CA$2.3m. On the other hand they divested 5.00k shares, for CA$222k. Overall, Stella-Jones insiders were net buyers last year. They paid about CA$40.65 on average. These transactions show that insiders have confidence to invest their own money in the stock, albeit at slightly below the recent price of CA$41.99. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

TSX:SJ Insider Trading January 29th 19
TSX:SJ Insider Trading January 29th 19

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insiders at Stella-Jones Have Bought Stock Recently

Over the last quarter, Stella-Jones insiders have spent a meaningful amount on shares. In total, insiders bought CA$269k worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any sales whatsoever. This could be interpreted as suggesting a positive outlook.

Insider Ownership

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company 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 0.6% of Stella-Jones shares, worth about CA$16m. 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 Stella-Jones Insider Transactions Indicate?

It is good to see recent purchasing. And an analysis of the transactions over the last year also gives us confidence. Insiders likely see value in Stella-Jones shares, given these transactions (along with notable insider ownership of the company). 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.

But note: Stella-Jones may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.