Magazine article American Banker

Advanta Insiders Selling Big Blocks of Company's Stock

Magazine article American Banker

Advanta Insiders Selling Big Blocks of Company's Stock

Article excerpt

A hefty level of stock selling recently by the officers and directors of Advanta Corp. has stirred some curiosity on Wall Street.

Since mid-February, 11 insiders at Advanta, a well-regarded consumer finance company in Horsham, Pa., have sold or disclosed they intend to sell 430,218 shares of its stock - worth about $14.4 million - according to CDA/Investnet, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Wall Street analysts agreed the amount of selling was unusual but said they could not link it to any fundamental change in the company. Advanta is best known as an issuer of profitable "gold" credit cards, geared to affluent customers.

"It does look a little strange," said Kristina A. Andersson of Smith Barney Inc., "but there is nothing out there on the horizon for Advanta that concerns me right now."

The largest seller is Advanta chief executive officer Dennis Alter, who notified the Securities and Exchange Commission May 18 that he was selling 200,000 Class B shares valued at $6.9 million.

The sales have coincided with a rebound in Advanta's shares after the company experienced some trouble in its mortgage business last fall. Its Class A common gained 35% from Feb. 15 to May 25, while its Class B common stock was ahead 27%.

Advanta's Class A share price rose $1 Thursday, to $39.125, and its Class B shares gained 37. …

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