We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Ultralife Corporation (NASDAQ:ULBI).
What Is Insider Selling?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. 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 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Ultralife
The Independent Chairman Bradford Whitmore made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$90k worth of shares at a price of US$8.38 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being US$8.15). 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. As a general rule, we feel more positive about a stock if insiders have bought shares at above current prices, because that suggests they viewed the stock as good value, even at a higher price.
Ultralife 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).
Ultralife Insiders Bought Stock Recently
Over the last three months, we've seen a bit of insider buying at Ultralife. Independent Director Robert Shaw purchased US$12k worth of shares in that period. It's good to see the insider buying, as well as the lack of recent sellers. However, in this case the amount invested recently is quite small.
Insider Ownership of Ultralife
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. Insiders own 35% of Ultralife shares, worth about US$48m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
So What Do The Ultralife Insider Transactions Indicate?
Insider purchases may have been minimal, in the last three months, but there was no selling at all. Overall the buying isn't worth writing home about. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. Overall we don't see anything to make us think Ultralife insiders are doubting the company, and they do own shares. So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Ultralife you should know about.
But note: Ultralife 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.
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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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