We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Carvana Co. (NYSE:CVNA).
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock in the company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
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. 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'.
Carvana Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Notably, that recent sale by Ernest Garcia is the biggest insider sale of Carvana shares that we've seen in the last year. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$261). 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. It is worth noting that this sale was only 25% of Ernest Garcia's holding.
The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Insiders at Carvana Have Sold Stock Recently
We've seen more insider selling than insider buying at Carvana recently. We note Founder Ernest Garcia cashed in US$9.7m worth of shares. On the other hand we note Independent Director Neha Parikh bought US$49k worth of shares , as previously mentioned . Since the selling really does outweigh the buying, we'd say that these transactions may suggest that some insiders feel the shares are not cheap.
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. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Carvana insiders own about US$100m worth of shares. That equates to 0.2% of the company. We've certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Carvana Insiders?
Unfortunately, there has been more insider selling of Carvana stock, than buying, in the last three months. Zooming out, the longer term picture doesn't give us much comfort. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. We're in no rush to buy! 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. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Carvana (1 is significant) you should be aware of.
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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