The fact that multiple The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) insiders offloaded a considerable amount of shares over the past year could have raised some eyebrows amongst investors. When analyzing insider transactions, it is usually more valuable to know whether insiders are buying versus knowing if they are selling, as the latter sends an ambiguous message. However, shareholders should take a deeper look if several insiders are selling stock over a specific time period.
While insider transactions are not the most important thing when it comes to long-term investing, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether.
Southern Insider Transactions Over The Last Year
The Chief Accounting Officer & Comptroller, Ann Daiss, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$506k worth of shares at a price of US$67.47 each. That means that even when the share price was below the current price of US$75.94, 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. Please do note, however, that sellers may have a variety of reasons for selling, so we don't know for sure what they think of the stock price. This single sale was just 29% of Ann Daiss's stake.
Southern insiders didn't buy any shares over the last year. You can see the insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. By clicking on the graph below, you can see the precise details of each insider transaction!
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Another way to test the alignment between the leaders of a company and other shareholders is to look at how many shares they own. I reckon it's a good sign if insiders own a significant number of shares in the company. It's great to see that Southern insiders own 0.2% of the company, worth about US$191m. This kind of significant ownership by insiders does generally increase the chance that the company is run in the interest of all shareholders.
What Might The Insider Transactions At Southern Tell Us?
It doesn't really mean much that no insider has traded Southern shares in the last quarter. While we feel good about high insider ownership of Southern, we can't say the same about the selling of shares. In addition to knowing about insider transactions going on, it's beneficial to identify the risks facing Southern. For example - Southern has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here