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 Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC).
What Is Insider Buying?
Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. 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 Omnicom Group
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Chairman & CEO, John Wren, sold US$6.5m worth of shares at a price of US$80.68 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of US$84.80. We generally consider it a negative if insiders have been selling, especially if they did so below the current price, because it implies that they considered a lower price to be reasonable. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can't be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it's only a weak sign. It is worth noting that this sale was only 7.3% of John Wren's holding.
Insiders in Omnicom Group didn't buy any shares in the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
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).
Insiders at Omnicom Group Have Sold Stock Recently
The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Omnicom Group shares. In total, insiders sold US$6.7m 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.
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. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It's great to see that Omnicom Group insiders own 0.7% of the company, worth about US$130m. Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Omnicom Group Insiders?
Insiders haven't bought Omnicom Group 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. The company boasts high insider ownership, but we're a little hesitant, given the history of share sales. So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. At Simply Wall St, we found 3 warning signs for Omnicom Group that deserve your attention before buying any shares.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting 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.
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