Read This Before Buying Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL) 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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL).

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 on the market. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. 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.’

See our latest analysis for Whiting Petroleum

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Whiting Petroleum

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when Lead Independent Director William Hahne sold US$85k worth of shares at a price of US$36.85 per share. Although we don’t gain confidence from insider selling, we note that this large sale was at well above current price of US$26.36. So it may not tell us anything about how insiders feel about the current share price.

In the last twelve months insiders netted US$114k for 3.36k shares sold. All up, insiders sold more shares in Whiting Petroleum than they bought, over the last year. The sellers received a price of around US$33.99, on average. It’s not particularly great to see insiders were selling shares around current prices (shares recently traded around US$26.36). While some insiders have decided to take some money off the table, we wouldn’t put too much weight on this fact. You can see the insider transactions over the last year depicted in the chart below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NYSE:WLL Insider Trading December 19th 18
NYSE:WLL Insider Trading December 19th 18

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Whiting Petroleum Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Whiting Petroleum shares. Specifically, William Hahne ditched US$85k 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

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by 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. Whiting Petroleum insiders own 0.9% of the company, currently worth about US$24m based on the recent share price. 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 Whiting Petroleum Tell Us?

An insider sold Whiting Petroleum shares recently, but they didn’t buy any. 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. So we’d only buy after careful consideration. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Whiting Petroleum.

Of course Whiting Petroleum may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.