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Stocks  | May 26, 2020

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 shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE:BNED).

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, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Columbia University study found that ‘insiders are more likely to engage in open market purchases of their own company’s stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers.

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Barnes & Noble Education

In the last twelve months, the biggest single sale by an insider was when the Executive VP of Corporate Development & President of Digital Student Solutions, Kanuj Malhotra, sold US$94k worth of shares at a price of US$4.48 per share. While insider selling is a negative, to us, it is more negative if the shares are sold at a lower price. The good news is that this large sale was at well above current price of US$1.29. So it is hard to draw any strong conclusion from it. Kanuj Malhotra 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. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NYSE:BNED Recent Insider Trading May 25th 2020

Does Barnes & Noble Education Boast High Insider Ownership?

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Barnes & Noble Education insiders own about US$14m worth of shares. That equates to 23% 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.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Barnes & Noble Education Tell Us?

The fact that there have been no Barnes & Noble Education insider transactions recently certainly doesn’t bother us. Still, the insider transactions at Barnes & Noble Education in the last 12 months are not very heartening. The modest level of insider ownership is, at least, some comfort. 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.


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