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 Avis Budget Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR), 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 equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Harvard University study found that ‘insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year’.

View our latest analysis for Avis Budget Group

Avis Budget Group Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single purchase by an insider was when Executive Chairman Bernardo Hees bought US$15m worth of shares at a price of US$34.87 per share. That means that even when the share price was higher than US$33.35 (the recent price), an insider wanted to purchase shares. It’s very possible they regret the purchase, but it’s more likely they are bullish about the company. To us, it’s very important to consider the price insiders pay for shares. It is generally more encouraging if they paid above the current price, as it suggests they saw value, even at higher levels.

Happily, we note that in the last year insiders paid US$15m for 456.17k shares. But they sold 27.47k shares for US$1.1m. Overall, Avis Budget Group insiders were net buyers during the last year. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

insider-trading-volume

There are always plenty of stocks that insiders are buying. So if that suits your style you could check each stock one by one or you could take a look at this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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. Avis Budget Group insiders own about US$33m worth of shares. That equates to 1.4% of the company. We’ve certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Avis Budget Group Insiders?

There haven’t been any insider transactions in the last three months — that doesn’t mean much. But insiders have shown more of an appetite for the stock, over the last year. Insiders do have a stake in Avis Budget Group and their transactions don’t cause us concern. 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. Every company has risks, and we’ve spotted 2 warning signs for Avis Budget Group (of which 1 shouldn’t be ignored!) you should know about.

But note: Avis Budget Group 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.

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. 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.

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

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