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Wells Fargo Offers $600M in Depositary Shares; CEO, Chair Buy Company Shares

CEO Tim Sloan and Chairman Stephen Sanger of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) recently bought 39,000 and 58,342 shares of the company, respectively, in what looked like a move to bring back the confidence of shareholders, Reuters reported April 18. Wells Fargo closed the charts with a 2.67% increase to $52.72 in heavy trading.

The shares were bought after a sales scandal that tarnished the bank’s name and before the April 25 shareholder meeting. Proxy advisor Glass Lewis recommended votes against six Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) directors and Institutional Shareholder Services said votes against 12 of 15 directors were warranted, the report said.

Wells Fargo offering depositary shares

Meanwhile, the company on April 17 said it is offering 24 million in depositary shares with a $600 million value, and a $90 million over-allotment option, according to a forward writing prospectus filed with the SEC.

Each share in the offering represents a 1/1,000th interest in a share of non-cumulative perpetual class A preferred stock, series Y, no par value, with a liquidation preference amount of $25,000 per share, which is equivalent to $25 per depositary share.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) intends to pay dividends on the 15th day of March, June, September and December of each year, commencing on June 15, 2017. Wells Fargo intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the offered securities to be added to the company’s general funds and will be available for general corporate purposes.

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What Does The Smart Money Sentiment Say?

The Smart Money pool shared a bearish sentiment as we saw a slight decline in hedge fund activity, quarter over quarter. Out of 742 funds we track at Insider Monkey, 100 funds held shares valued at $34 billion by the end of Q4, a decrease from 104 funds which held shares valued at $27 billion by the end of Q3.

At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 39.7% gains over the past 12 months and outperformed the 24.1% gain enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs. Our enhanced small-cap hedge fund strategy returned more than 45% over the last 12 months and outperformed SPY by more than 30 percentage points over the last 4.5 years (see details here).

The Bottom Line

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) is in the spotlight after the CEO and chairman bought shares of the company in what is seen as a move to bring back the confidence of its shareholders. The company also most recently issued depositary shares amounting to $600 million. For further reading, here are the 11 highest paid CEOs in the world.

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