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 before you buy or sell ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACAD), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
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 would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the insider, Eric Miller, sold US$191k worth of shares at a price of US$41.18 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at below the current price (US$41.57). 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 100% of Eric Miller's holding. Eric Miller was the only individual insider to sell shares in the last twelve months.
You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
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Does ACADIA Pharmaceuticals 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. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Insiders own 0.2% of ACADIA Pharmaceuticals shares, worth about US$10m. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Tell Us?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded ACADIA Pharmaceuticals shares in the last quarter. Still, the insider transactions at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals in the last 12 months are not very heartening. But we do like the fact that insiders own a fair chunk of the company. 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 - ACADIA Pharmaceuticals has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity 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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