We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.
What Is Insider Selling?
It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.
We don’t think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Harvard University study found that ‘insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Devon Energy
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by insider Keith Rattie for US$231k worth of shares, at about US$14.05 per share. So it’s clear an insider wanted to buy, even at a higher price than the current share price (being US$9.16). Their view may have changed since then, but at least it shows they felt optimistic at the time. To us, it’s very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. It is encouraging to see an insider paid above the current price for shares, as it suggests they saw value, even at higher levels. Keith Rattie was the only individual insider to buy shares in the last twelve months.
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!
Devon Energy is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Devon Energy insiders own about US$28m worth of shares. That equates to 0.8% 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.
So What Do The Devon Energy Insider Transactions Indicate?
The recent insider purchase is heartening. We also take confidence from the longer term picture of insider transactions. But we don’t feel the same about the fact the company is making losses. Given that insiders also own a fair bit of Devon Energy we think they are probably pretty confident of a bright future. So while it’s helpful to know what insiders are doing in terms of buying or selling, it’s also helpful to know the risks that a particular company is facing. For instance, we’ve identified 2 warning signs for Devon Energy (1 shouldn’t be ignored) you should be aware of.
Of course Devon Energy may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.
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.
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.
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