We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell Ambarella, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMBA), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Selling?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. 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'.
Ambarella Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the insider, Yun-Lung Chen, for US$537k worth of shares, at about US$89.16 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$114). 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. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. We note that the biggest single sale was only 14% of Yun-Lung Chen's holding.
Insiders in Ambarella didn't buy any shares in the last year. 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!
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Ambarella Insiders Are Selling The Stock
Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Ambarella. In total, insiders sold US$736k 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.
For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Ambarella insiders own about US$185m worth of shares (which is 4.6% of the company). Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Ambarella Insiders?
Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. At Simply Wall St, we found 3 warning signs for Ambarella that deserve your attention before buying any shares.
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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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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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