It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell Accuray Incorporated (NASDAQ:ARAY), 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 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.'
Accuray Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the President, Joshua Levine, for US$212k worth of shares, at about US$3.75 per share. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. The silver lining is that this sell-down took place above the latest price (US$2.66). So it may not shed much light on insider confidence at current levels. Notably Joshua Levine was also the biggest buyer, having purchased US$236k worth of shares.
In the last twelve months insiders purchased 50000 shares for US$236k. But insiders sold 164k shares worth US$685k. All up, insiders sold more shares in Accuray than they bought, over the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
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Accuray Insiders Are Selling The Stock
The last three months saw significant insider selling at Accuray. In total, insiders sold US$242k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.
Insider Ownership of Accuray
For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. From our data, it seems that Accuray insiders own 2.6% of the company, worth about US$6.0m. Overall, this level of ownership isn't that impressive, but it's certainly better than nothing!
What Might The Insider Transactions At Accuray Tell Us?
Insiders sold Accuray shares recently, but they didn't buy any. And our longer term analysis of insider transactions didn't bring confidence, either. When you combine this with the relatively low insider ownership, we are very cautious about the stock. As the saying goes, only fools rush in. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Accuray, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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.
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 email@example.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.