We'd be surprised if Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:A) shareholders haven't noticed that an insider, Padraig McDonnell, recently sold US$138k worth of stock at US$138 per share. However, the silver lining is that the sale only reduced their total holding by 5.6%, so we're hesitant to read anything much into it, on its own.
Agilent Technologies Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Independent Non-Executive Chairman, Boon Hwee Koh, for US$2.3m worth of shares, at about US$115 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$137). As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. It is worth noting that this sale was only 23% of Boon Hwee Koh's holding.
In the last year Agilent Technologies insiders didn't buy any company stock. 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 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).
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Agilent Technologies insiders own 0.3% of the company, currently worth about US$123m based on the recent share price. Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Agilent Technologies Tell Us?
Insiders haven't bought Agilent Technologies stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. And even if we look at the last year, we didn't see any purchases. On the plus side, Agilent Technologies makes money, and is growing profits. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. While we like knowing what's going on with the insider's ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. While conducting our analysis, we found that Agilent Technologies has 2 warning signs and it would be unwise to ignore them.
But note: Agilent Technologies 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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