We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Buying?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
General Motors Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
The insider Julian Blissett made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$242k worth of shares at a price of US$26.00 each. Even though the purchase was made at a significantly lower price than the recent price (US$56.60), we still think insider buying is a positive. 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.
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).
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. General Motors insiders own 0.2% of the company, currently worth about US$123m based on the recent share price. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.
So What Do The General Motors 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. It would be great to see more insider buying, but overall it seems like General Motors insiders are reasonably well aligned (owning significant chunk of the company's shares) and optimistic for the future. So while it's helpful to know what insiders are doing in terms of buying or selling, it's also helpful to know the risks that a particular company is facing. While conducting our analysis, we found that General Motors has 1 warning sign and it would be unwise to ignore it.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.
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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