Should You Be Worried About Insider Transactions At Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR)?

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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Buying?

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, 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 it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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’.

Check out our latest analysis for Herman Miller

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Herman Miller

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the , Brian Walker, for US$1.3m worth of shares, at about US$37.74 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at below the current price (US$38.12). As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. Please do note, however, that sellers may have a variety of reasons for selling, so we don’t know for sure what they think of the stock price. We note that the biggest single sale was only 38.2% of Brian Walker’s holding.

In total, Herman Miller insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NasdaqGS:MLHR Recent Insider Trading, June 21st 2019
NasdaqGS:MLHR Recent Insider Trading, June 21st 2019

If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Insiders at Herman Miller Have Sold Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we’ve seen significant insider selling at Herman Miller. In total, President of North America Contract Gregory Bylsma dumped US$521k worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it’s not the be all and end all.

Insider Ownership of Herman Miller

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Herman Miller insiders own about US$16m worth of shares. That equates to 0.7% of the company. 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 Does This Data Suggest About Herman Miller Insiders?

An insider sold stock recently, but they haven’t been buying. And our longer term analysis of insider transactions didn’t bring confidence, either. On the plus side, Herman Miller makes money, and is growing profits. While insiders do own shares, they don’t own a heap, and they have been selling. We’d think twice before buying! If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

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 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.