Read This Before Buying Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) Shares

We’ve lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. 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 Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI).

What Is Insider Selling?

It’s quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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 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.’

View our latest analysis for Itron

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Itron

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when President Philip Mezey sold US$1.4m worth of shares at a price of US$60.75 per share. Although we don’t gain confidence from insider selling, we note that this large sale was at well above current price of US$49.48. So it may not tell us anything about how insiders feel about the current share price.

All up, insiders sold more shares in Itron than they bought, over the last year. They sold for an average price of about US$60.87. It is certainly not great to see that insiders have sold shares in the company. But we note that the selling, on average, was at well above the recently traded price of US$49.48. You can see the insider transactions (by 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!

NasdaqGS:ITRI Recent Insider Trading, March 18th 2019
NasdaqGS:ITRI Recent Insider Trading, March 18th 2019

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Insiders at Itron Have Sold Stock Recently

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Itron shares. Specifically, insiders ditched US$3.0m 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

Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. Insiders own 1.1% of Itron shares, worth about US$22m. We’ve certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Itron 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. Insiders own shares, but we’re still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. We’re in no rush to buy! Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Itron, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

But note: Itron may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.

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.