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Need To Know: Novanta Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVT) Insiders Have Been Selling Shares

Simply Wall St

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. 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 we'll take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Novanta Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVT).

What Is Insider Selling?

It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. As Peter Lynch said, 'insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise.

See our latest analysis for Novanta

Novanta Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Independent Chairman of the Board, Stephen Bershad, sold US$34m worth of shares at a price of US$68.15 per share. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$87.37, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. 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. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. We note that the biggest single sale was only 29% of Stephen Bershad's holding. Stephen Bershad was the only individual insider to sell shares in the last twelve months.

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!

NasdaqGS:NOVT Recent Insider Trading, November 5th 2019

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Insider Ownership

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Novanta insiders own 4.0% of the company, currently worth about US$123m based on the recent share price. Most shareholders would be happy to see this sort of insider ownership, since it suggests that management incentives are well aligned with other shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Novanta Insiders?

The fact that there have been no Novanta insider transactions recently certainly doesn't bother us. It's great to see high levels of insider ownership, but looking back at the last year, we don't gain confidence from the Novanta insiders selling. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for Novanta.

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. We currently account for open market transactions and private dispositions, but not derivative transactions.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.