Have Insiders Been Selling MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc. (NYSE:MSM) Shares?

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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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc. (NYSE:MSM).

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.

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. 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.’

View our latest analysis for MSC Industrial Direct

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At MSC Industrial Direct

The Senior VP, Steve Armstrong, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$437k worth of shares at a price of US$82.48 each. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$78.84. While we don’t usually like to see insider selling, it’s more concerning if the sales take price at a lower price. We note that this sale took place at around the current price, so it isn’t a major concern, though it’s hardly a good sign.

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 12743.33 shares worth US$1.1m. MSC Industrial Direct insiders didn’t buy any shares over the last year. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NYSE:MSM Recent Insider Trading, May 10th 2019
NYSE:MSM Recent Insider Trading, May 10th 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insiders at MSC Industrial Direct Have Sold Stock Recently

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of MSC Industrial Direct shares. Specifically, Executive VP & Chief Supply Chain Officer Douglas Jones ditched US$178k worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. In light of this it’s hard to argue that all the insiders think that the shares are a bargain.

Insider Ownership

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. MSC Industrial Direct insiders own about US$890m worth of shares (which is 20% of the company). 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 Does This Data Suggest About MSC Industrial Direct Insiders?

An insider hasn’t bought MSC Industrial Direct stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn’t show any insider buying. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in MSC Industrial Direct, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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.