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Insiders at Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) sold US$666k worth of stock, possibly indicating weakness in the future

Quite a few Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) insiders sold their shares over the past year, which may be a cause for concern. Knowing whether insiders are buying is usually more helpful when evaluating insider transactions, as insider selling can have various explanations. However, when multiple insiders sell stock over a specific duration, shareholders should take notice as that could possibly be a red flag.

While insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing, we do think it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing.

View our latest analysis for Target

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Target

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the insider, Robert Harrison, for US$453k worth of shares, at about US$218 per share. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. The good news is that this large sale was at well above current price of US$156. So it may not tell us anything about how insiders feel about the current share price.

Target insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

insider-trading-volume
insider-trading-volume

I will like Target better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

Target Insiders Are Selling The Stock

Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Target. Specifically, Chief Accounting Officer Matthew Liegel ditched US$213k 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.

Does Target Boast High 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. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Target insiders own 0.2% of the company, currently worth about US$170m based on the recent share price. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

So What Do The Target Insider Transactions Indicate?

An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And even if we look at the last year, we didn't see any purchases. While insiders do own a lot of shares in the company (which is good), our analysis of their transactions doesn't make us feel confident about the company. In addition to knowing about insider transactions going on, it's beneficial to identify the risks facing Target. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for Target you should be aware of.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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