AltaGas Ltd. (TSE:ALA) Insiders Increased Their Holdings

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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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in AltaGas Ltd. (TSE:ALA).

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, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

We don’t think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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.’

Check out our latest analysis for AltaGas

AltaGas Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Terry McCallister bought CA$950k worth of shares at a price of CA$21.60 per share. So it’s clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being CA$19.63). Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. To us, it’s very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares is very important. It is generally more encouraging if they paid above the current price, as it suggests they saw value, even at higher levels.

In the last twelve months insiders purchased 78550 shares for CA$1.5m. On the other hand they divested 22750 shares, for CA$478k. Overall, AltaGas insiders were net buyers last year. Their average price was about CA$18.99. It’s great to see insiders putting their own cash into the company’s stock, albeit at below the recent share price. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!

TSX:ALA Recent Insider Trading, July 19th 2019
TSX:ALA Recent Insider Trading, July 19th 2019

Insider Ownership

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by 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 AltaGas shares, worth about CA$39m. 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 Does This Data Suggest About AltaGas Insiders?

There haven’t been any insider transactions in the last three months — that doesn’t mean much. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. Insiders own shares in AltaGas and we see no evidence to suggest they are worried about the future. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for AltaGas.

But note: AltaGas 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 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.