By selling US$3.0m worth of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) stock at an average sell price of US$103 over the last year, insiders seemed to have made the most of their holdings. The company's market valuation decreased by US$17b after the stock price dropped 3.8% over the past week, but insiders were spared from painful losses.
While insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing, we do think it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing.
The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Exxon Mobil
Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the VP, Principal Accounting Officer & Controller, Leonard Fox, for US$1.3m worth of shares, at about US$105 per share. So what is clear is that an insider saw fit to sell at around the current price of US$102. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. We note that this sale took place at around the current price, so it isn't a major concern, though it's hardly a good sign.
Exxon Mobil 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 click on the chart, you can see all the individual transactions, including the share price, individual, and the date!
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Exxon Mobil Insiders Are Selling The Stock
Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at Exxon Mobil. In total, insider Darrin Talley dumped US$289k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. In light of this it's hard to argue that all the insiders think that the shares are a bargain.
Does Exxon Mobil Boast High Insider Ownership?
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. It's great to see that Exxon Mobil insiders own 0.2% of the company, worth about US$716m. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.
So What Does This Data Suggest About Exxon Mobil Insiders?
An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. And there weren't any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. But since Exxon Mobil is profitable and growing, we're not too worried by this. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. 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. At Simply Wall St, we've found that Exxon Mobil has 2 warning signs (1 is significant!) that deserve your attention before going any further with your analysis.
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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.
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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.