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 before you buy or sell US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE:USFD), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.
We don’t think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. 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.’
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At US Foods Holding
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Executive Vice President of Nationally Managed Business, Steven Guberman, sold US$384k worth of shares at a price of US$35.49 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$40.32). 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. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can’t be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it’s only a weak sign. We note that the biggest single sale was only 30.8% of Steven Guberman’s holding.
All up, insiders sold more shares in US Foods Holding than they bought, over the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
US Foods Holding Insiders Are Selling The Stock
The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of US Foods Holding shares. In total, Steven Guberman dumped US$161k 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.
For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Insiders own 0.4% of US Foods Holding shares, worth about US$31m. We’ve certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At US Foods Holding Tell Us?
An insider sold US Foods Holding shares recently, but they didn’t buy any. And our longer term analysis of insider transactions didn’t bring confidence, either. While insiders do own shares, they don’t own a heap, and they have been selling. We’re in no rush to buy! Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in US Foods Holding, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.