Read This Before Selling Diageo plc (LON:DGE) Shares

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. On the other hand, we’d be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So before you buy or sell Diageo plc (LON:DGE), 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, 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. 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’.

View our latest analysis for Diageo

Diageo Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Chairman Javier Ferrán made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for UK£985k worth of shares at a price of UK£32.85 each. So it’s clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being UK£31.18). While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company’s future. We always take careful note of the price insiders pay when purchasing shares. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when an insider has purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price. Javier Ferrán was the only individual insider to buy shares in the last twelve months.

Javier Ferrán purchased 32064 shares over the year. The average price per share was UK£32.79. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

LSE:DGE Recent Insider Trading, December 4th 2019
LSE:DGE Recent Insider Trading, December 4th 2019

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.

Insider Ownership of Diageo

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. Diageo insiders own 0.1% of the company, currently worth about UK£87m based on the recent share price. Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.

So What Do The Diageo Insider Transactions Indicate?

We note a that there has been a bit of insider buying recently (but no selling). The net investment is not enough to encourage us much. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. Insiders do have a stake in Diageo and their transactions don’t cause us concern. 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: Diageo 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.