Are Insiders Selling Total System Services, Inc. (NYSE:TSS) Stock?

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We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. On the other hand, we’d be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Total System Services, Inc. (NYSE:TSS).

What Is Insider Selling?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, rules govern insider transactions, and certain disclosures are required.

Insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. 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’.

View our latest analysis for Total System Services

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Total System Services

The Chairman, M. Woods, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$4.4m worth of shares at a price of US$91.23 each. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$101, an insider wanted to cash in some shares. 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. While insider selling is not a positive sign, we can’t be sure if it does mean insiders think the shares are fully valued, so it’s only a weak sign. We note that the biggest single sale was only 8.5% of M. Woods’s holding.

We note that in the last year insiders divested 102k shares for a total of US$9.4m. Total System Services insiders didn’t buy any shares over the last year. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NYSE:TSS Recent Insider Trading, May 1st 2019
NYSE:TSS Recent Insider Trading, May 1st 2019

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insiders at Total System Services Have Sold Stock Recently

The last three months saw significant insider selling at Total System Services. In total, insiders dumped US$8.9m worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. Overall this makes us a bit cautious, but it’s not the be all and end all.

Insider Ownership

Many investors like to check how much of a company is owned by insiders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It’s great to see that Total System Services insiders own 1.5% of the company, worth about US$263m. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Total System Services Insiders?

Insiders sold Total System Services shares recently, but they didn’t buy any. And there weren’t any purchases to give us comfort, over the last year. It is good to see high insider ownership, but the insider selling leaves us cautious. 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, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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.