South Carolina-based Holding Company Registers Noteworthy Insider Selling
South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) had one member of its Board sell big earlier this week. Director M. Oswald Fogle discarded 9,000 shares on Monday at a price tag of $74.93 each. Following this relatively sizable sale, Mr. Fogle currently holds an ownership stake of 24,860 shares.
In mid-June, the South Carolina-based bank holding company that provides banking services and products through its wholly-owned bank subsidiary, South State Bank, agreed to merge with Southeastern Bank Financial Corp (OTCMKTS:SBFC) to form a new bank holding company with approximately $10.5 billion in total assets, $8.7 billion in total deposits, $7.2 billion in total loans and a network of 133 branches in the Carolinas and Georgia. Under the terms of the freshly-inked deal, Southeastern shareholders will receive 0.7307 shares of South State.
Southeastern Bank Financial operates as a bank holding company of Georgia Bank & Trust Company of Augusta, the largest locally-owned and operated community bank in the Augusta metro market. The members of South State’s Board recently approved a cash dividend of $0.31 per share, $0.01 higher than the previous cash dividend and $0.06 higher than the dividend paid out a year ago. The freshly-upped dividend payment yields 1.66% annually.
There were a total of 14 hedge fund vehicles tracked by our team invested in South State Corporation at the end of the March quarter. Those 14 money managers amassed roughly 5% of the company’s outstanding shares. South State shares are up by a little less than 4% in 2016. Mark Lee’s Forest Hill Capital owned 563,287 shares of South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) at the end of the first quarter.
Strong Performing Steelmaker Registers Increased Insider Selling
Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) saw three different executives offload shares earlier this week, two of whom sold freshly-exercised employee stock options. Although the two executives sold more shares than the exercised stock options, we will solely look into the insider selling that did not involve options. Raymond S. Napolitan Jr., Executive Vice President of Fabricated Construction Products at Nucor since June 2013, sold 10,000 shares on Monday at a weighted average sale price of $52.39 per share. Mr. Napolitan now owns 71,170 Nucor shares.
The biggest steelmaker by output in the United States has seen the value of its stock advance by 34% since the beginning of the year. U.S. steelmakers have successfully lobbied the government for new tariffs on steel imports, after high import levels crushed prices last year. In late May, the Obama Administration imposed a 500% tariff on Chinese cold-rolled flat steel, while corrosion-resistant steel from China was set to face U.S. anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties. Government subsidies to Chinese steel manufacturers have been blamed for causing excess capacity and putting downward pressure on prices in the steel market. According to Global Trade Information Services, steel imports fell by almost 20% this year to 14.2 million tons. Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE)’s net sales for the second quarter grew by 14% year-over-year to $4.25 billion, as average sales price per ton increased by 9% from the first quarter of 2016. The company’s net profits increased by 87% year-over-year to $233.8 million.
The hedge fund sentiment towards the steelmaker increased during the first quarter, as the number of funds in our database with long positions in the company rose to 29 from 20 quarter-over-quarter. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management cut its position in Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) by 8% during the June quarter to 115,818 shares.