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Possible bearish signals as Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO) insiders disposed of US$4.7m worth of stock

The fact that multiple Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO) insiders offloaded a considerable amount of shares over the past year could have raised some eyebrows amongst investors. Knowing whether insiders are buying is usually more helpful when evaluating insider transactions, as insider selling can have various explanations. However, if numerous insiders are selling, shareholders should investigate more.

While insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether.

View our latest analysis for Thermo Fisher Scientific

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Thermo Fisher Scientific

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Executive VP & COO, Michel Lagarde, sold US$3.3m worth of shares at a price of US$542 per share. That means that even when the share price was slightly below the current price of US$551, 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. It is worth noting that this sale was only 28% of Michel Lagarde's holding.

Thermo Fisher Scientific insiders didn't buy any shares over 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
insider-trading-volume

If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Insider Ownership

I like to look at how many shares insiders own in a company, to help inform my view of how aligned they are with insiders. A high insider ownership often makes company leadership more mindful of shareholder interests. Thermo Fisher Scientific insiders own 0.2% of the company, currently worth about US$335m based on the recent share price. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Thermo Fisher Scientific Tell Us?

There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. It's great to see high levels of insider ownership, but looking back over the last year, we don't gain confidence from the Thermo Fisher Scientific insiders selling. 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. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 1 warning sign with Thermo Fisher Scientific and understanding it should be part of your investment process.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting 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.

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

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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