We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTCT).
What Is Insider Selling?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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. 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 Therapeutics
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Co-Founder, Stuart Peltz, for US$129k worth of shares, at about US$62.37 per share. While insider selling is a negative, to us, it is more negative if the shares are sold at a lower price. The silver lining is that this sell-down took place above the latest price (US$47.31). So it may not shed much light on insider confidence at current levels.
Therapeutics insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. 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!
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Therapeutics Insiders Are Selling The Stock
The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Therapeutics shares. In total, insiders sold US$430k 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.
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. It appears that Therapeutics insiders own 0.4% of the company, worth about US$13m. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Therapeutics Insiders?
Insiders sold Therapeutics shares recently, but they didn't buy any. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn't show any insider buying. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. So we'd only buy after careful consideration. So while it's helpful to know what insiders are doing in terms of buying or selling, it's also helpful to know the risks that a particular company is facing. At Simply Wall St, we found 3 warning signs for Therapeutics that deserve your attention before buying any shares.
Of course Therapeutics 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.
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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.
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