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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSEMKT:SYN).
What Is Insider Selling?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.
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 Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Synthetic Biologics
In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when insider David Lazar bought US$723k worth of shares at a price of US$0.38 per share. Although we like to see insider buying, we note that this large purchase was at significantly below the recent price of US$0.83. Because it occurred at a lower valuation, it doesn't tell us much about whether insiders might find today's price attractive.
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!
Synthetic Biologics is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Based on our data, Synthetic Biologics insiders have about 3.2% of the stock, worth approximately US$1.7m. I generally like to see higher levels of ownership.
So What Do The Synthetic Biologics Insider Transactions Indicate?
It's certainly positive to see the recent insider purchase. And the longer term insider transactions also give us confidence. However, we note that the company didn't make a profit over the last twelve months, which makes us cautious. While the overall levels of insider ownership are below what we'd like to see, the history of transactions imply that Synthetic Biologics insiders are reasonably well aligned, and optimistic for the future. 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. Our analysis shows 6 warning signs for Synthetic Biologics (3 are significant!) and we strongly recommend you look at these before investing.
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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