It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. 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 Balfour Beatty plc (LON:BBY), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Buying?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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 it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Balfour Beatty
The Group Chief Executive & Executive Director Leo Quinn made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for UK£500k worth of shares at a price of UK£2.21 each. Although we like to see insider buying, we note that this large purchase was at significantly below the recent price of UK£3.08. Because the shares were purchased at a lower price, this particular buy doesn't tell us much about how insiders feel about the current share price.
Balfour Beatty insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. 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).
Does Balfour Beatty Boast High Insider Ownership?
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It appears that Balfour Beatty insiders own 0.5% of the company, worth about UK£9.8m. 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 Balfour Beatty Insider Transactions Indicate?
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. While we have no worries about the insider transactions, we'd be more comfortable if they owned more Balfour Beatty stock. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Balfour Beatty you should be aware of, and 1 of these shouldn't be ignored.
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.
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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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