Need To Know: South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) Insiders Have Been Selling Shares

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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. The flip side of that is that there are more than a few examples of insiders dumping stock prior to a period of weak performance. So before you buy or sell South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Buying?

Most investors know that it is quite permissible for company leaders, such as directors of the board, to buy and sell stock on the market. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But equally, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether. For example, a Columbia University study found that ‘insiders are more likely to engage in open market purchases of their own company’s stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers’.

See our latest analysis for South State

South State Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

The CEO & Director, Robert Hill, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$663k worth of shares at a price of US$67.00 each. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$72.09, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. When an insider sells below the current price, it suggests that they considered that lower price to be fair. That makes us wonder what they think of the (higher) recent valuation. However, while insider selling is sometimes discouraging, it’s only a weak signal. We note that the biggest single sale was only 7% of Robert Hill’s holding.

In the last twelve months insiders purchased 8000 shares for US$538k. But insiders sold 20933 shares worth US$1.4m. Over the last year we saw more insider selling of South State shares, than buying. You can see a visual depiction of insider transactions (by individuals) over the last 12 months, below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!

NasdaqGS:SSB Recent Insider Trading, June 17th 2019
NasdaqGS:SSB Recent Insider Trading, June 17th 2019

If you like to buy stocks that insiders are buying, rather than selling, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

South State Insiders Bought Stock Recently

There was some insider buying at South State over the last quarter. Robert Demere bought US$205k worth of shares in that time. On the other hand, they sold US$176k worth of shares. It is good to see that insiders have been buying, but they did not buy very many shares, in the scheme of things.

Insider Ownership

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. I reckon it’s a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. South State insiders own about US$31m worth of shares. That equates to 1.2% of the company. We’ve certainly seen higher levels of insider ownership elsewhere, but these holdings are enough to suggest alignment between insiders and the other shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About South State Insiders?

We note a that there has been a bit of insider buying recently (but no selling). Overall the buying isn’t worth writing home about. We’re a little cautious about the insider selling at South State. But we do like the fact that insiders own a fair chunk of the company. If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

Of course South State may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of high quality companies.

For the purposes of this article, insiders are those individuals who report their transactions to the relevant regulatory body.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.