Insider trades can give investors a more complete view of activity within the world’s publicly-listed companies. No one knows more about a company, and its prospects, than its executives and directors.
In this report, we are going to highlight some interesting insider buying at Luminar Technologies Inc (LAZR:US). Luminar Technologies develops sensors and software for the autonomous vehicle market. Founded in 2012, it has developed lidar sensor technology designed to address traffic situations that often result in severe injuries and fatalities. The company, which listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market late last year via a SPAC merger, currently has a market capitalization of $6.8 billion.
Luminar Technologies Inc: Insider Buying
Our insider transaction data shows that on 1 July, two insiders at Luminar bought stock. Board member Matthew Simoncini made the largest purchase, buying 22,727 shares at a price of $22.00 per share. Board member Jun Hong Heng made a smaller purchase, picking up 4,545 shares at a price of $22.00 per share. Combined, these insiders spent around $600,000 on stock.
Both of these insiders are likely to have a good understanding of the company’s technology and future prospects. Simoncini has significant strategic and financial expertise in the automotive sector as well as extensive relationships with automakers, suppliers, equity investors, and capital markets. Previously, he was President and CEO of global automotive technology firm Lear from 2011 to 2018.
Meanwhile, Jun Hong Heng is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Crescent Cove Advisors, LP, a technology investment firm. He is also the Chairman and CEO of COVA Acquisition Corp. Given their backgrounds, we see their purchases as bullish.
It’s worth noting that on 1 July, there was also a large sale from Founder and CEO Austin Russell. Our records show that the insider offloaded 10.5 million shares, netting proceeds of $220.5 million. Normally, a sale of this size might be considered a red flag. However, in this case, the sale does not look particularly bearish. That’s because Russell sold less than 10% of his total position. After selling the 10.5 million shares, he still owns 95 million shares, which equates to around 28% of the total stock outstanding.
Luminar recently announced that its technology will be standard on Volvo’s forthcoming next-generation fully electric vehicle which is set to be unveiled in 2022. The vehicle, which will succeed the XC90, is set to come with Luminar’s state-of-the-art lidar hardware ‘Iris’, and perception from its ‘Sentinel’ solution, the first full-stack autonomous solution for series production in the industry.
“This is a watershed moment for the industry, and Luminar’s most significant win towards establishing the next era of safety technology,” said Austin Russell, Luminar Founder and CEO.
On the back of this news, analysts at Baird upgraded the stock to ‘outperform’ and raised their price target from $22 to $30 – over 50% higher than the current share price.
In light of these developments, we see the insider buying here as a bullish indicator.