Dissecting the Insider Trading Patterns of Ensco plc (ESV)

Recent insider trends for Ensco plc (NYSE:ESV) have caught the attention of investors. Analysts study insider data to get a sense of sense of what key shareholders think about the outlook for a particular stock. In the case of ESV, the data has some interesting implications for where the stock might be headed.

Institutions own 85.80% of Ensco plc (ESV)’s shares. The total value of these holdings, in millions, is $3,471. Among active positions in the latest quarter, 186 holders increased their positions by a total of 111.72 million shares, 191 holders decreased the positions by a total of 81.13 million shares, and 63 holders held their positions. This works out to a net increase in ownership of 30.58 million shares, and suggests that institutions are feeling bullish about the stock.

Among new and sold out positions, 54 holders initiated new positions by a total of 37.47 million shares and 74 holders exited their positions by a total of 28.58 million shares. This nets out to an increase of 8.9 million shares and is a bullish sign for ESV.

In the last three months, insiders executed a total of 7 trades. 7 were sells. Insider ownership decreased by a total of 8502 shares, which suggests that ESV’s key executives are feeling less optimistic about the outlook for the stock. The data from the past twelve months tells a different story: insiders executed 7 buys and 45 sells, and ownership increased by a net of 516824 shares.

The analysis of insider buying and selling trends can be extended to the aggregate level. Short interest, which represents the number of a stock’s shares currently being shorted, captures what the market as a whole feels about a stock. Ensco plc (NYSE:ESV)’s short interest is 68.86 million shares, or % of the float. This represents a decrease of -3% in the number of shares being shorted compared to the previous reading, and implies that investors felt less pessimistic about the stock during the past two weeks.

Given what the insider ownership patterns are saying, it makes sense to consider the technicals to see if these pieces of information reach the same conclusion about the outlook for ESV. A composite of 13 technical indicators that includes measures such as moving averages and momentum oscillators suggests that ESV is a Strong buy, which implies that ESV is expected to outperform the market based on prior trading patterns.


Institutional ownership trends suggest that the stock is cheap and the insider trading data indicates that insiders are bearish. Technical indicators (also) suggest that Ensco plc (NYSE:ESV) is undervalued.

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