Have Insiders Been Selling Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) Shares?

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 before you buy or sell Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

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 equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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’.

See our latest analysis for Hormel Foods

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Hormel Foods

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Independent Director, Susan Nestegard, sold US$443k worth of shares at a price of US$44.33 per share. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$39.24. While we don’t usually like to see insider selling, it’s more concerning if the sales take price at a lower price. We note that this sale took place at around the current price, so it isn’t a major concern, though it’s hardly a good sign.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 35479 shares for a total of US$1.6m. Insiders in Hormel Foods didn’t buy any shares in the last year. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) 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:HRL Recent Insider Trading, April 24th 2019
NYSE:HRL Recent Insider Trading, April 24th 2019

If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Hormel Foods Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last three months saw significant insider selling at Hormel Foods. Specifically, insiders ditched US$897k 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.

Insider Ownership of Hormel Foods

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It appears that Hormel Foods insiders own 0.4% of the company, worth about US$94m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it’s enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Hormel Foods Insiders?

Insiders sold Hormel Foods shares recently, but they didn’t buy any. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn’t show any insider buying. But since Hormel Foods is profitable and growing, we’re not too worried by this. Insiders own shares, but we’re still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. So we’d only buy after careful consideration. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Hormel Foods, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

But note: Hormel Foods 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.

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.