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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 Air New Zealand Limited (NZSE:AIR), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Selling?
Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.
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 Columbia 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'.
Air New Zealand Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Chief Financial Officer, Jeff McDowall, sold NZ$318k worth of shares at a price of NZ$3.01 per share. So we know that an insider sold shares at around the present share price of NZ$2.70. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. In this case, the big sale took place at around the current price, so it's not too bad (but it's still not a positive).
We note that in the last year insiders divested 412k shares for a total of NZ$1.2m. Air New Zealand insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Insiders at Air New Zealand Have Sold Stock Recently
Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Air New Zealand. In total, Chief of Air Operations & People Safety Officer John Whittaker dumped NZ$236k 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.
Does Air New Zealand 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. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Air New Zealand insiders own about NZ$19m worth of shares. That equates to 0.6% of the company. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Air New Zealand Tell Us?
An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And even if we look to the last year, we didn't see any purchases. Insiders own shares, but we're still pretty cautious, given the history of sales. We're in no rush to buy! Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Air New Zealand.
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.
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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.