Insiders Were Buying Up Luminar (LAZR) Stock Ahead of Mercedes Deal

  • Luminar Technologies (LAZR) announced a “multi-billion dollar deal” expansion with Mercedes-Benz (MBGYY) yesterday.
  • CEO Austin Russell and several directors have purchased shares in the past few months.
  • LAZR stock is up more than 45% year-to-date (YTD).
Luminar (LAZR stock) sign with greenery around it
Source: JHVEPhoto/

Luminar Technologies (NASDAQ:LAZR) stock closed higher by 28% yesterday after announcing a “multi-billion dollar deal” expansion with Mercedes-Benz (OTCMKTS:MBGYY). The exact amount of the deal was not disclosed.

Following two years of collaboration, the luxury vehicle company has agreed to use Luminar’s Iris lidar technology in its next-generation production vehicles by 2025. First series production of Iris began last October and it has since completed Mercedes’s initial testing phase and “associated milestones.”

Iris will integrate with Mercedes’ new “conditionally automated driving system,” allowing for higher speeds on highways and more efficient driver assistance. Luminar CEO Austin Russell had the following to say:

“Mercedes’ standards for vehicle safety and performance are among the highest in the industry, and their decision to  double down on Luminar reinforces that commitment […] We are now set to enable the broadest scale deployment of this technology in the industry.”

Insiders Have Loaded Up on LAZR

Meanwhile, several insiders of Luminar have purchased shares of LAZR stock in the past few months. In fact, no Luminar insider has sold shares on the open market since April of last year.

CEO Austin Russell has been a very active insider, if not the most active. Since January 2022, he has purchased 1.03 million shares worth close to $10 million. His last purchase occurred on Sept. 20 when he purchased 25,000 shares at an average price of $9.87 per share. According to the most recent Form 4, Russell directly owns 1.03 million shares. Still, many of Russell’s buys are out of the money. Between January and April 2022, he purchased shares at average prices between $15.67 and $12.86.

The last Form 4 for a Luminar insider is attributed to Director Mary Lou Jepsen. Jepsen purchased 10,109 shares at an average price of $6.65 per share on Dec. 16. Following the transaction, she now owns a total of 55,584 shares.

In the past three months, insiders have made seven open market buys and two sales. In total, 59,998 shares were acquired over that period while 79,909 shares were sold. However, taking a deeper look into these transactions shows that all of the sales in the past three months have been attributed to the gifting of shares or satisfying tax withholding obligations in connection with the vesting of restricted stock units (RSUs).

On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines. 

Eddie Pan specializes in institutional investments and insider activity. He writes for InvestorPlace’s Today’s Market team, which centers on the latest news involving popular stocks.

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