We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV).
What Is Insider Buying?
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, 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 Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
F5 Networks Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by insider Thomas Fountain for US$1.1m worth of shares, at about US$137 per share. That means that even when the share price was higher than US$135 (the recent price), an insider wanted to purchase shares. While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company's future. In our view, the price an insider pays for shares is very important. Generally speaking, it catches our eye when an insider has purchased shares at above current prices, as it suggests they believed the shares were worth buying, even at a higher price. Thomas Fountain was the only individual insider to buy 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. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Insider Ownership of F5 Networks
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. Insiders own 0.4% of F5 Networks shares, worth about US$33m. 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 F5 Networks Tell Us?
The recent insider purchase is heartening. And the longer term insider transactions also give us confidence. Insiders likely see value in F5 Networks shares, given these transactions (along with notable insider ownership of the company). So these insider transactions can help us build a thesis about the stock, but it's also worthwhile knowing the risks facing this company. To assist with this, we've discovered 1 warning sign that you should run your eye over to get a better picture of F5 Networks.
Of course F5 Networks may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality 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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