We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Mercury General Corporation (NYSE:MCY).
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.
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 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 Mercury General
The Executive Chairman of the Board George Joseph made the biggest insider purchase in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$6.0m worth of shares at a price of US$37.80 each. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, at around the current price, which is US$41.17. That means they have been optimistic about the company in the past, though they may have changed their mind. While we always like to see insider buying, it's less meaningful if the purchases were made at much lower prices, as the opportunity they saw may have passed. In this case we're pleased to report that the insider purchases were made at close to current prices.
While Mercury General insiders bought shares during the last year, they didn't sell. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Have Mercury General Insiders Traded Recently?
There was some insider buying at Mercury General over the last quarter. Independent Director Joshua Little purchased US$6.5k worth of shares in that period. We like it when there are only buyers, and no sellers. But the amount invested in the last three months isn't enough for us too put much weight on it, as a single factor.
Does Mercury General Boast High Insider Ownership?
I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. It's great to see that Mercury General insiders own 51% of the company, worth about US$1.1b. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.
So What Do The Mercury General Insider Transactions Indicate?
Insider purchases may have been minimal, in the last three months, but there was no selling at all. That said, the purchases were not large. However, our analysis of transactions over the last year is heartening. Judging from their transactions, and high insider ownership, Mercury General insiders feel good about the company's future. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Mercury General, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
Of course Mercury General may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality 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.
When trading Mercury General or any other investment, use the platform considered by many to be the Professional's Gateway to the Worlds Market, Interactive Brokers. You get the lowest-cost* trading on stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.