Did Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA) Insiders Sell Shares?

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 Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA), 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, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

We don’t think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Colombia 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’.

See our latest analysis for Zebra Technologies

Zebra Technologies Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when Independent Director Andrew Ludwick sold US$6.1m worth of shares at a price of US$180 per share. That means that an insider was selling shares at around the current price of US$165. While their view may have changed since the sale, this is not a particularly positive fact. We generally tread carefully if insiders have been selling on market, even if they sold slightly above the current price.

Over the last year, we note insiders sold 89.56k shares worth US$15m. The chart below shows insider transactions over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NasdaqGS:ZBRA Insider Trading November 26th 18
NasdaqGS:ZBRA Insider Trading November 26th 18

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Zebra Technologies Insiders Are Selling The Stock

Over the last three months, we’ve seen significant insider selling at Zebra Technologies. In total, insiders sold US$7.5m worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. In light of this it’s hard to argue that all the directors think that the shares are a bargain.

Does Zebra Technologies Boast High Insider Ownership?

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. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Zebra Technologies insiders own 1.1% of the company, currently worth about US$101m based on the recent share price. 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 Do The Zebra Technologies Insider Transactions Indicate?

Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven’t been buying. Furthermore, transactions over the last twelve months dispel the notion that insiders won’t sell readily. But it is good to see that Zebra Technologies is growing earnings. When you combine this with the relatively low insider ownership, we are very cautious about the stock. So we’re not rushing to buy, to say the least. If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

But note: Zebra Technologies 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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.