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 Catalent, Inc. (NYSE:CTLT).
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, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Catalent
The Senior VP, Steven Fasman, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$245k worth of shares at a price of US$101 each. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$108, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. 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. This single sale was just 3.2% of Steven Fasman's stake.
Insiders in Catalent didn't buy any shares in the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
I will like Catalent better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Does Catalent Boast High Insider Ownership?
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. Insiders own 0.4% of Catalent shares, worth about US$75m. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Catalent Insiders?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Catalent shares in the last quarter. Still, the insider transactions at Catalent in the last 12 months are not very heartening. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. 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. When we did our research, we found 3 warning signs for Catalent (1 can't be ignored!) that we believe deserve your full attention.
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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