Need To Know: Medical Properties Trust, Inc. (NYSE:MPW) Insiders Have Been Selling Shares

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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Medical Properties Trust, Inc. (NYSE:MPW).

What Is Insider Selling?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. 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 logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. For example, a Columbia University study found that ‘insiders are more likely to engage in open market purchases of their own company’s stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers’.

View our latest analysis for Medical Properties Trust

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Medical Properties Trust

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Chairman, Edward Aldag, for US$5.1m worth of shares, at about US$18.72 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$17.25. We generally don’t like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. Given that the sale took place at around current prices, it makes us a little cautious but is hardly a major concern.

In total, Medical Properties Trust insiders sold more than they bought over the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NYSE:MPW Recent Insider Trading, May 1st 2019
NYSE:MPW Recent Insider Trading, May 1st 2019

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Insiders at Medical Properties Trust Have Sold Stock Recently

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Medical Properties Trust shares. In total, insiders sold US$5.5m 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.

Insider Ownership of Medical Properties Trust

I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Medical Properties Trust insiders own about US$91m worth of shares. That equates to 1.3% of the company. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it’s enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Medical Properties Trust Tell Us?

Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven’t been buying. Despite some insider buying, the longer term picture doesn’t make us feel much more positive. On the plus side, Medical Properties Trust makes money, and is growing profits. Insiders own shares, but we’re still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. So we’d only buy after careful consideration. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Medical Properties Trust.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.