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Should You Take Comfort From Insider Transactions At W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA)?

Shawn Clark

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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. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of share prices declining precipitously after insiders have sold shares. So before you buy or sell W. R. Grace & Co. ( NYSE:GRA ), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Buying?

It’s quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. 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. 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.’

View our latest analysis for W. R. Grace

W. R. Grace Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Non-Executive Chairman Alfred Festa for US$1.6m worth of shares, at about US$65.38 per share. That implies that an insider found the current (approximate) price enticing. 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. In any event it’s generally a positive if insiders are buying shares at around the current price.

In the last twelve months insiders paid US$2.3m for 35.00k shares purchased. In total, W. R. Grace insiders bought more than they sold over the last year. Their average price was about US$65.57. These transactions show that insiders have confidence to invest their own money in the stock, albeit at slightly below the recent price of US$74.49. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NYSE:GRA Insider Trading February 8th 19

I will like W. R. Grace better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

Does W. R. Grace Boast High 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. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It appears that W. R. Grace insiders own 0.9% of the company, worth about US$44m. 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 Do The W. R. Grace Insider Transactions Indicate?

The fact that there have been no W. R. Grace insider transactions recently certainly doesn’t bother us. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Insiders do have a stake in W. R. Grace and their transactions don’t cause us concern. Therefore, you should should definitely take a look at this FREE report showing analyst forecasts for W. R. Grace .

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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com .