Insider selling is starting to get massive before year-end when higher capital gains taxes will kick in. We continue to expect that corporate insiders, venture backers, private equity backers, and founders will sell stock at close to a record pace. After all, the 15% capital gains taxes for the bulk of these insiders is set rise with or without a fiscal cliff settlement. There is a common belief that taxes on asset sales will never be as low as they are right now. Yes, never!
24/7 Wall St. has tracked many of the large transactions which have been seen since Thanksgiving and since the election and some of the dollar sums are amazing. The risk of not selling to lock in gains now is also not just one of taxes: if the fiscal cliff is not resolved these insiders might have to wait through another recession for much higher prices.
These are just some of the insider sales we have seen of late in the $1 million and higher range in total per company since Thanksgiving and into December. Many of these are options exercised and are under planned executive share sales, so they are not solely intended to be signaling any reason for panic.
Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM) has seen more than $20 million worth of stock sold by insiders and founders since Thanksgiving. That being said, it is important to remember that this is still a controlled company under the founders.
Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: TAST) has seen key holder Jefferies Capital Partners LLC clean out its position on December 7. The sale was for 4.08 million shares a face value sale of almost $23.7 million.
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation (NASDAQ: CTSH) has seen multiple officers sell since Thanksgiving through December 10. The tally was more than $33.5 million worth of stock via option exercises.
Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) has seen John Conway (Chair, Pres, CEO) sell more than $9 million worth of shares after exercising options in December alone, but he sold almost $20 million after the election prior to the latest selling.
DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) has seen different sales from insiders after options were exercised to the tune of about $15 million worth of stock at face value.
Eaton Vance Corp. (NYSE: EV) has seen various officers sell about $18 million worth of shares from options exercised since Thanksgiving.
Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPD) has seen more than $3.3 million worth of shares sold after options were exercised by its President of the Americas, CIO, and its VP of Global Customs.
Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN) has seen CEO Min Kao sell off a considerable portion of his shares. He has sold some $70 million or so in stock sales in the month of December alone. Kao has been an aggressive seller since September, but many of these share were after the inclusion announcement for the S&P 500 Index.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) had one incredible year and Chairman and CEO John Martin has sold more than $12 million worth of shares sold after options exercises. Other insiders have sold close to $8 million worth of stock after exercising options since Thanksgiving.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) sees routine insider selling by insiders and founders. That being said, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and others have all been selling even in December after we noted Eric Schmidt and insider selling around Thanksgiving. The total is about $115 million so far in the month of December via share sales.
Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) has seen the Kellogg Foundation Trust sell more than $19 million worth of stock since Thanksgiving, but we would note that the trust still holds more than 75 million shares so this would be considered ongoing as the trust has only sold about 5% or 6% of its holdings in the last year.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) has seen some $26 million from Thanksgiving through December 10 via options exercised by many different insiders.
Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) has seen the Mastercard Foundation make 5 different sales for more than $22 million in September, but the group still lists its share count up many times higher in dollar terms because its holdings were listed as over 12.55 million shares.
NCR Corp. (NYSE: NCR) saw Chairman, CEO, and President William Nuti conduct an option exercise worth about $24.3 million and he turned around and sold these for more than $38.4 million on December 7.
Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST) has seen ABRY Broadcast Partners (under Royce Yudroff) sell more than $70 million worth of stock in the broadcast company during the first full week of December.
Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) has seen about $5 million worth of shares sold in insider sales transactions since Thanksgiving in options exercise sales by the Senior VP of International Operations, the head of Exploration, and from its President & COO David Stover.
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has seen two sales coming to about $1.7 million from the head of communications and from the general counsel in the first half of December.
Oceaneering International, Inc. (NYSE: OII) saw one director make two sales coming to more than $6.4 million worth of stock in December.
PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) has seen multiple sales of about $3 million since Thanksgiving from officers such as the President/COO, SVP-Finance, and two others from option exercises.
PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH) has seen various insiders selling, but one really stands out. Director David Landau sold some $233 million worth of stock on December 5.
Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE: RL) has seen insider selling pick up from the Lauren Family, LLC, something we would only expect to see more of as the lowest tax rates are set to expire. This has been more than $30 million worth of shares in December alone.
Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE: CRM) has seen very large numbers of insider selling. It looks like the floodgates opened up after the middle of November. Without being exact, the sum looks to be about $30 million worth of stock sold.
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) has seen founder Howard Schultz sell more than $74 million worth of stock alone so far in the month of December. Other officers have sold as well, but this is the biggest sale seen of the lot.
TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE: AMTD) has seen Joe Ricketts sell some $24.3 million worth of stock. Keep in mind that he is still in possession of more than 48 million shares.
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE: UNH) has seen President & Chief Exec Officer Stephen Hemsley conduct two option exercises worth more than $19.7 million to be turned around and sold for more than $32 million in December. He still holds shares worth more than $150 million.
YUM! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) has seen Chairman, CEO, and President David Novak exercise options worth $10 million and sold for more than $35.7 million in December alone. Other officers have sold about $6 million worth of stock after exercising options in December alone.
Again, these are just some of the sales seen and we tried to focus on the millionaire-making transactions and the empire-building transactions. Data taken from FinViz.com and from SEC filings.
JON C. OGG