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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Meritor, Inc. (NYSE:MTOR).
What Is Insider Buying?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a 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'.
Meritor Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the President, Jeffrey Craig, for US$6.4m worth of shares, at about US$25.86 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$24.31. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. 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.
Meritor insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
I will like Meritor better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Insiders at Meritor Have Sold Stock Recently
Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Meritor. In total, insiders dumped US$7.9m 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.
I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Insiders own 2.9% of Meritor shares, worth about US$51m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Meritor Tell Us?
Insiders sold Meritor shares recently, but they didn't buy any. And even if we look at the last year, we didn't see any purchases. But since Meritor is profitable and growing, we're not too worried by this. Insiders own shares, but we're still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. We're in no rush to buy! While we like knowing what's going on with the insider's ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Meritor you should be aware of.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity 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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