AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) Insiders Increased Their Holdings

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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 we’ll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN).

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.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. For example, a Harvard University study found that ‘insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.’

Check out our latest analysis for AstraZeneca

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At AstraZeneca

In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when CEO & Executive Director Pascal Soriot bought UK£996k worth of shares at a price of UK£58.26 per share. That implies that an insider found the current price of UK£64.09 per share to be enticing. That means they have been optimistic about the company in the past, though they may have changed their mind. We do always like to see insider buying, but it is worth noting if those purchases were made at well below today’s share price, as the discount to value may have narrowed with the rising price. The good news for AstraZeneca share holders is that insiders were buying at near the current price.

In the last twelve months insiders paid UK£1.5m for 26120 shares purchased. In the last twelve months AstraZeneca insiders were buying shares, but not selling. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by 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!

LSE:AZN Recent Insider Trading, June 28th 2019
LSE:AZN Recent Insider Trading, June 28th 2019

Insiders at AstraZeneca Have Bought Stock Recently

Over the last quarter, AstraZeneca insiders have spent a meaningful amount on shares. Overall, three insiders shelled out US$1.5m for shares in the company — and none sold. This is a positive in our book as it implies some confidence.

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. It appears that AstraZeneca insiders own 0.02% of the company, worth about UK£20m. 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 Do The AstraZeneca Insider Transactions Indicate?

The recent insider purchases are heartening. And an analysis of the transactions over the last year also gives us confidence. Given that insiders also own a fair bit of AstraZeneca we think they are probably pretty confident of a bright future. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for AstraZeneca.

Of course AstraZeneca may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.

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.