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Are Insiders Buying Compass Group PLC (LON:CPG) Stock?

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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 Compass Group PLC (LON:CPG), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Buying?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. 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 Compass Group

Compass Group Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Independent Non-Executive Chairman Ian Meakins for UK£821k worth of shares, at about UK£14.07 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, at around the current price, which is UK£14.76. While their view may have changed since the purchase was made, this does at least suggest they have had confidence in the company's future. While we always like to see insider buying, it's less meaningful if the purchases were made at much lower prices, as the opportunity they saw may have passed. Happily, the Compass Group insiders decided to buy shares at close to current prices.

While Compass Group insiders bought shares during the last year, they didn't sell. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and 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!

insider-trading-volume
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 of Compass Group

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. Compass Group insiders own about UK£13m worth of shares. That equates to 0.05% of the company. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Compass Group Insiders?

It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Compass Group shares in the last quarter. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Insiders do have a stake in Compass Group and their transactions don't cause us concern. While we like knowing what's going on with the insider's ownership and transactions, we make sure to also consider what risks are facing a stock before making any investment decision. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Compass Group you should be aware of.

But note: Compass 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 (at) simplywallst.com.

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