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Insiders At Marathon Petroleum Sold US$1.7m In Stock, Alluding To Potential Weakness

Many Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) insiders ditched their stock over the past year, which may be of interest to the company's shareholders. When analyzing insider transactions, it is usually more valuable to know whether insiders are buying versus knowing if they are selling, as the latter sends an ambiguous message. However, shareholders should take a deeper look if several insiders are selling stock over a specific time period.

Although we don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions, logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares.

View our latest analysis for Marathon Petroleum

Marathon Petroleum Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Notably, that recent sale by Timothy Aydt is the biggest insider sale of Marathon Petroleum shares that we've seen in the last year. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even slightly below the current price of US$173. 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. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it's only a weak signal. It is worth noting that this sale was only 39% of Timothy Aydt's holding.

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Insiders in Marathon Petroleum didn't buy any shares in the last year. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart 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 are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Marathon Petroleum Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last three months saw significant insider selling at Marathon Petroleum. In total, Executive Vice President of Refining Timothy Aydt dumped US$1.4m 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

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. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. Marathon Petroleum insiders own about US$97m worth of shares. That equates to 0.2% of the company. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Marathon Petroleum Tell Us?

An insider sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn't show any insider buying. Insider ownership isn't particularly high, so this analysis makes us cautious about the company. We'd practice some caution before buying! 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. When we did our research, we found 3 warning signs for Marathon Petroleum (1 shouldn't be ignored!) that we believe deserve your full attention.

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 of direct interests only, but not derivative transactions or indirect interests.

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.