Need To Know: Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) Insiders Have Been Selling Shares

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 Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT).

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 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.’

Check out our latest analysis for Walmart

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Walmart

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by Executive VP & CFO Brett Biggs for US$1.8m worth of shares, at about US$96.14 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$98.64). Even though it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, that’s certainly not a positive sign, in our book. We generally consider it a negative if insiders have been selling on market, especially if they did so below the current price. It is worth noting that this sale was only 9% of Brett Biggs’s holding.

In the last twelve months insiders netted US$8.9m for 95.99k shares sold. Over the last year we saw more insider selling of Walmart shares, than buying. The average sell price was around US$92.99. It’s not ideal to see that insiders have sold at around the current price. Since insiders sell for many reasons, we wouldn’t put too much weight on it. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by 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!

NYSE:WMT Recent Insider Trading, March 22nd 2019
NYSE:WMT Recent Insider Trading, March 22nd 2019

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Insiders at Walmart Have Sold Stock Recently

The last three months saw significant insider selling at Walmart. In total, insiders dumped US$1.2m 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 directors think that the shares are a bargain.

Insider Ownership of Walmart

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. It’s great to see that Walmart insiders own 1.1% of the company, worth about US$3.3b. 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 Do The Walmart Insider Transactions Indicate?

Insiders haven’t bought Walmart stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. And even if we look to the last year, we didn’t see any purchases. The company boasts high insider ownership, but we’re a little hesitant, given the history of share sales. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Walmart, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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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.