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 before you buy or sell Air Canada (TSE:AC), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Buying?
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, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Air Canada
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by insider Murray Strom for CA$99k worth of shares, at about CA$33.69 per share. That means that even when the share price was higher than CA$23.69 (the recent price), an insider wanted to purchase shares. It's very possible they regret the purchase, but it's more likely they are bullish about the company. In our view, the price an insider pays for shares is very important. 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.
While Air Canada insiders bought shares during the last year, they didn't sell. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Insiders own 0.3% of Air Canada shares, worth about CA$23m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
So What Do The Air Canada Insider Transactions Indicate?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Insiders do have a stake in Air Canada and their transactions don't cause us concern. 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. Be aware that Air Canada is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 1 of those doesn't sit too well with us...
But note: Air Canada 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.
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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