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 before you buy or sell Zendesk, Inc. (NYSE:ZEN), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
Do Insider Transactions Matter?
It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.
Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. 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.
Zendesk Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Founder, Mikkel Svane, sold US$7.7m worth of shares at a price of US$77.04 per share. So we know that an insider sold shares at around the present share price of US$67.98. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. Given that the sale took place at around current prices, it makes us a little cautious but is hardly a major concern.
We note that in the last year insiders divested 110000 shares for a total of US$8.5m. Insiders in Zendesk didn't buy any shares in the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
I will like Zendesk better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Zendesk Insiders Are Selling The Stock
The last three months saw significant insider selling at Zendesk. Specifically, Founder Mikkel Svane ditched US$7.7m 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 Zendesk
Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Zendesk insiders own 1.5% of the company, currently worth about US$114m 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 Zendesk Insider Transactions Indicate?
An insider sold Zendesk shares recently, but they didn't buy any. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Zendesk, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
But note: Zendesk 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.
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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.