We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 before you buy or sell Piedmont Lithium Limited (ASX:PLL), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
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 equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. 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'.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Piedmont Lithium
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Independent Non-Executive Chairman Ian Middlemas for AU$188k worth of shares, at about AU$0.09 per share. That implies that an insider found the current price of AU$0.10 per share to be enticing. Of course they may have changed their mind. But this suggests they are optimistic. While we always like to see insider buying, it's less meaningful if the purchases were made at much lower prices, as the opportunity they saw may have passed. Happily, the Piedmont Lithium insiders decided to buy shares at close to current prices.
Piedmont Lithium insiders may have bought shares in the last year, but they didn't sell any. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Piedmont Lithium Insiders Bought Stock Recently
Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider buying at Piedmont Lithium. In total, insiders bought AU$233k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any sales whatsoever. This could be interpreted as suggesting a positive outlook.
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Insiders own 7.6% of Piedmont Lithium shares, worth about AU$8.8m, according to our data. We do generally prefer see higher levels of insider ownership.
So What Do The Piedmont Lithium Insider Transactions Indicate?
It is good to see recent purchasing. We also take confidence from the longer term picture of insider transactions. However, we note that the company didn't make a profit over the last twelve months, which makes us cautious. While the overall levels of insider ownership are below what we'd like to see, the history of transactions imply that Piedmont Lithium insiders are reasonably well aligned, and optimistic for the future. 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. Be aware that Piedmont Lithium is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 1 of those makes us a bit uncomfortable...
But note: Piedmont Lithium 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.
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.
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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