We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. On the other hand, we’d be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM).
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, 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 Colombia 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’.
Exxon Mobil Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by Bradley Corson for US$1.6m worth of shares, at about US$83.01 per share. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$75.49. While their view may have changed since the sale, this is not a particularly positive fact. We generally tread carefully if insiders have been selling on market, even if they sold slightly above the current price.
Over the last year, we note insiders sold 101.94k shares worth US$8.5m. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions 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!
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Exxon Mobil Insiders Are Selling The Stock
Over the last three months, we’ve seen significant insider selling at Exxon Mobil. In total, Bradley Corson dumped US$1.3m worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.
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. Exxon Mobil insiders own 0.1% of the company, currently worth about US$470m based on the recent share price. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Exxon Mobil Tell Us?
An insider sold stock recently, but they haven’t been buying. Furthermore, transactions over the last twelve months dispel the notion that insiders won’t sell readily. But since Exxon Mobil is profitable and growing, we’re not too worried by this. When you combine this with the relatively low insider ownership, we are very cautious about the stock. As the saying goes, only fools rush in. 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.
But note: Exxon Mobil may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.
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 email@example.com.