Form 144 Filed by Insiders at Fortinet Prior to Suspension of Russian Offices

 The Fortiwifi security appliance by Fortinet Inc in placed in the floor against the bricks background

On February 24, 2022, the day Russian troops invaded Ukraine marked a moment of discourse for everyone. As time lapsed, issuers, beginning with American companies began placing sanctions on the Russian marketplace. While the Russian stock market shut down, companies from around the world ceased their Russian offices; albeit at perhaps their own expense. 

Insiders Sold Beforehand

One such company is Fortinet Inc. (FTNT: US). A developer of cybersecurity solutions and antivirus software, the company stated on March 7, 2022, that it will be suspending its operations in Russia. 

In an opposite reaction, $FTNT’s stock price which was $333.72 at the beginning of the same day’s session, dived all the way to $291.36. Comparing the prices for the past five days, results show that the stock’s value fell by 16.96%.

Since the first days of the invasion, the stock market has been affected as a whole. But the $FTNT price fall is more astounding when we unearthed that two insiders at the company filed Form 144s less than a month ago. 

On February 22 & 24, two insiders at the company filed Form 144, making plans to sell nearly millions worth of stock.

  • John Whittle, a member of the company’s General Counsel, filed for 11,922 shares worth around $3.55 million.

The image of Form 144, which shows the details of the intention to sell trade by John Whittle - Insider of Fortinet Inc.Source: SEC

  • The company’s CFO, Keith Franklin Jensen, filed his form on the first day of the invasion: February 24, 2022. He planned to sell 17,850 shares at a value of $5.56 million. 

The picture of Form 144, provides details of Keith Franklin Jensen's intention to sell trade as a Fortinet Inc. insider.Source: SEC

The same day as his Form 144 filing, Jensen also made sales, exercises, and conversions of his shares.  

Both Insiders filed their forms through broker, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Whittle and Jensen are also two of the company’s most frequent traders, having sold, been awarded, exercised, and converted $FTNT stock in nearly 120 trades since the start of 2022.

Moving On Steadily

In response to the Ukraine crisis, Ken Xie, the company’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO, said, “Like many around the world, we are watching what’s happening in Ukraine with great concern and as a result are compelled to take action. We regret the impact this will have on our employees, partners, and customers who are adversely impacted by the actions of the Russian government.”

The same report went on to add that it stands by both, its Ukrainian and Russian employees. Additionally, the company has been functioning in shielding against Russian cyberattacks, which possibly have never been seen before in any kind of war. 

In another highlight prior to the selling, Fortinet’s fourth quarter and full-2021 results were welcomed on February 3, 2022. The company’s reported revenue for 2021 had spiked up to $3.34 billion. This was a whopping 29% rise compared to the previous year’s performance. 

The company is likely taking the ‘The Show must go on’ approach, and perhaps in doing so it can salvage the stock price.

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