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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW).
What Is Insider Buying?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.
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 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At VMware
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Jean-Pierre Brulard, sold US$95k worth of shares at a price of US$141 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$161, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. 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. This single sale was just 1.5% of Jean-Pierre Brulard's stake. Jean-Pierre Brulard was the only individual insider to sell shares in the last twelve months.
You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Does VMware Boast High Insider Ownership?
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. VMware insiders own 0.4% of the company, currently worth about US$243m 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 VMware Insider Transactions Indicate?
The fact that there have been no VMware insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. While we feel good about high insider ownership of VMware, we can't say the same about the selling of shares. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for VMware you should be aware of.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity 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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