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ConocoPhillips' (NYSE:COP) insiders who sold earlier this year may be offered solace in this recent price drop

Even though ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) has fallen by 3.7% over the past week , insiders who sold US$5.0m worth of stock over the past year have had less luck. Given that the average selling price of US$101 is still lower than the current share price, insiders would probably have been better off keeping their shares.

While we would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing, logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares.

See our latest analysis for ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

The Director & Advisor, Timothy Leach, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$4.2m worth of shares at a price of US$102 each. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$122, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. As a general rule we consider it to be discouraging when insiders are selling below the current price, because it suggests they were happy with a lower valuation. Please do note, however, that sellers may have a variety of reasons for selling, so we don't know for sure what they think of the stock price. This single sale was just 5.7% of Timothy Leach's stake.

In the last year ConocoPhillips insiders didn't buy any company stock. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

insider-trading-volume
insider-trading-volume

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

Insiders At ConocoPhillips Have Sold Stock Recently

Over the last three months, we've seen significant insider selling at ConocoPhillips. Specifically, Senior VP of Legal & General Counsel Kelly Rose ditched US$322k worth of shares in that time, and we didn't record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.

Insider Ownership Of ConocoPhillips

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. ConocoPhillips insiders own about US$146m worth of shares (which is 0.1% of the company). I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At ConocoPhillips Tell Us?

An insider hasn't bought ConocoPhillips stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn't show any insider buying. But since ConocoPhillips is profitable and growing, we're not too worried by this. While insiders do own a lot of shares in the company (which is good), our analysis of their transactions doesn't make us feel confident about the company. In addition to knowing about insider transactions going on, it's beneficial to identify the risks facing ConocoPhillips. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for ConocoPhillips you should be aware of, and 1 of them is a bit concerning.

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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