There's been a lot of insider selling at Sirius XM Radio
Five executives who received about 10 million restricted shares in May have been dumping the new stock on a monthly basis. All told, the insiders have unloaded roughly 7 million of the vested shares at price points between $0.32 and $0.69.
Insider selling isn't always fatal. It also bears noting that CEO Mel Karmazin is not one of the five executives cutting loose with the granted shares. The executives continue to hold sizeable stakes in the company, and cashing out of the May award may simply be interpreted as an attempt by some of the top honchos to treat the shares as a marketable bonus for steering the company through a difficult time earlier this year.
It still sends the wrong message, though, at a time when Sirius XM is trying to hoist its shares above the $1 mark before being delisted or forced into a reverse split next year.
That's the problem with approaching the mystical $1-per-share price point as a foregone conclusion. In a poll last month, when the satellite-radio provider received a delisting warning from the Nasdaq, 72% of our readers thought a springtime reverse split wouldn't be necessary, since the stock would be trading above $1 by then.
Seeing insiders unload their restricted shares for as little as $0.32 is a bit unnerving. What about the Apple
No one doubts the company's near-term survival. The concern at this point is valuation. As this morning's Wall Street Journal points out, Sirius XM commands roughly $7 billion in enterprise value, once you tack on its debt and Liberty Media Capital's
As for the five executives, the trend has been for them to unload chunks of their shares at the beginning of every month over the past three months. Having already sold in October, they've bled through most of the 10 million shares, so investors can only hope that mixed message will be put to rest soon.
At a time when the pressure is on to get investors to believe in the company, it's important to lead by example.
Where do you see Sirius XM's share price at the end of this year? Submit your price in the comment box below.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a subscriber to both Sirius and XM. He owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.