We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. On the other hand, we'd be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So before you buy or sell John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:JW.A), 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, 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 Harvard University study found that 'insider purchases earn abnormal returns of more than 6% per year'.
John Wiley & Sons Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
Notably, that recent sale by Matthew Kissner is the biggest insider sale of John Wiley & Sons shares that we've seen in the last year. That means that an insider was selling shares at slightly below the current price (US$57.04). When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can't be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it's only a weak sign. This single sale was 51% of Matthew Kissner's stake.
John Wiley & Sons insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and 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 John Wiley & Sons Have Sold Stock Recently
Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at John Wiley & Sons. In total, Executive VP & Group Executive Matthew Kissner sold US$921k 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.
Insider Ownership of John Wiley & Sons
For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It's great to see that John Wiley & Sons insiders own 5.6% of the company, worth about US$178m. 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 Does This Data Suggest About John Wiley & Sons Insiders?
An insider sold John Wiley & Sons shares recently, but they didn't buy any. And even if we look at the last year, we didn't see any purchases. The company boasts high insider ownership, but we're a little hesitant, given the history of share sales. In addition to knowing about insider transactions going on, it's beneficial to identify the risks facing John Wiley & Sons. At Simply Wall St, we've found that John Wiley & Sons has 3 warning signs (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that deserve your attention before going any further with your analysis.
Of course John Wiley & Sons 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.
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.
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