Read This Before Buying Strategic Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRA) Shares

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 Strategic Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRA), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Buying?

It’s quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. For example, a Harvard University study found that ‘insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.’

Check out our latest analysis for Strategic Education

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Strategic Education

The President, Karl McDonnell, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$3.7m worth of shares at a price of US$165 each. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$175). We generally consider it a negative if insiders have been selling, especially if they did so below the current price, because it implies that they considered a lower price to be reasonable. 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 14.3% of Karl McDonnell’s holding.

All up, insiders sold more shares in Strategic Education 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!

NasdaqGS:STRA Recent Insider Trading, August 19th 2019
NasdaqGS:STRA Recent Insider Trading, August 19th 2019

Insiders at Strategic Education Have Sold Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we’ve seen significant insider selling at Strategic Education. Specifically, insiders ditched US$2.0m 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.

Does Strategic Education Boast High Insider Ownership?

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. Strategic Education insiders own about US$127m worth of shares (which is 3.4% 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.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Strategic Education Tell Us?

Insiders haven’t bought Strategic Education stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. Despite some insider buying, the longer term picture doesn’t make us feel much more positive. While insiders do own a lot of shares in the company (which is good), our analysis of their transactions doesn’t make us feel confident about the company. 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.

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

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 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.