Anyone interested in South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) should probably be aware that the Senior EVP & Director, John Pollok, recently divested US$411k worth of shares in the company, at an average price of US$80.30 each. On the bright side, that sale was only 6.6% of their holding, so we doubt it's very meaningful, on its own.
South State Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
In fact, the recent sale by Senior EVP & Director John Pollok was not their only sale of South State shares this year. They previously made an even bigger sale of -US$1.0m worth of shares at a price of US$70.13 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of US$81.92. 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. This single sale was just 18% of John Pollok's stake.
In the last twelve months insiders purchased 11.50k shares for US$634k. But insiders sold 59.24k shares worth US$4.3m. 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 companies and individuals) over the last 12 months, below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Insider Ownership of South State
Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. It appears that South State insiders own 1.4% of the company, worth about US$79m. This level of insider ownership is good but just short of being particularly stand-out. It certainly does suggest a reasonable degree of alignment.
So What Does This Data Suggest About South State Insiders?
Insiders sold stock recently, but they haven't been buying. Despite some insider buying, the longer term picture doesn't make us feel much more positive. While insiders do own shares, they don't own a heap, and they have been selling. So we'd only buy after careful consideration. So while it's helpful to know what insiders are doing in terms of buying or selling, it's also helpful to know the risks that a particular company is facing. For example, South State has 4 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.
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 currently account for open market transactions and private dispositions, but not derivative transactions.
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