We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 Alcoa Corporation (NYSE:AA).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. As Peter Lynch said, 'insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Alcoa
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Executive VP & Chief Human Resources Officer, Tammi Jones, sold US$87k worth of shares at a price of US$31.89 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$31.14. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. 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. Tammi Jones was the only individual insider to sell shares in the last twelve months.
Tammi Jones ditched 4.23k shares over the year. The average price per share was US$28.09. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and 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!
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Alcoa Insiders Are Selling The Stock
Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Alcoa. In total, Executive VP & Chief Human Resources Officer Tammi Jones dumped US$87k 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.
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. Alcoa insiders own about US$24m worth of shares. That equates to 0.4% 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.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Alcoa Insiders?
An insider hasn't bought Alcoa stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. We'd practice some caution before buying! So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. For example - Alcoa has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
But note: Alcoa 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.
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.
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