It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Medical Properties Trust, Inc. (NYSE:MPW).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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 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'.
Medical Properties Trust Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Founder, Edward Aldag, for US$7.4m worth of shares, at about US$18.60 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$22.50). 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. 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 only 12% of Edward Aldag's holding.
Insiders in Medical Properties Trust didn't buy any shares in the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
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).
Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Medical Properties Trust insiders own 1.5% of the company, currently worth about US$189m based on the recent share price. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.
So What Do The Medical Properties Trust Insider Transactions Indicate?
There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. It's great to see high levels of insider ownership, but looking back over the last year, we don't gain confidence from the Medical Properties Trust insiders selling. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Medical Properties Trust (including 1 which shouldn't be ignored).
But note: Medical Properties Trust 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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