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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB).
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, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Schlumberger
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the insider, Patrick Arnold Schorn, sold US$2.3m worth of shares at a price of US$35.89 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of US$39.41. 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. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. It is worth noting that this sale was 57% of Patrick Arnold Schorn's holding.
In the last year Schlumberger insiders didn't buy any company stock. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Schlumberger Insiders Are Selling The Stock
Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Schlumberger. Specifically, insiders ditched US$5.9m 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.
For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Schlumberger insiders own about US$76m worth of shares. That equates to 0.1% of the company. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Schlumberger Tell Us?
Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn't show any insider buying. 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 Schlumberger, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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