Clearly with St. Patrick’s Day falling on Friday, the volume of trading dropped as Wall Street enjoyed the festivities. However, once again the market continued the inexorable climb higher this past week. For the first time this year, the insider buying volume looked to be much closer to the selling in share count, though insider sellers still seemed to dominate in the dollar amount. Either way, with earnings season right around the corner, you can bet many insiders are taking advantage of open transaction windows.
We cover insider selling every week at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind readers that just because an individual or 10% institutional owner sells stock, that is no cause for immediate alarm. Many top executives, and even directors, are compensated with stock and often sell just to diversify portfolios or purchase other assets.
Here are companies that reported notable insider selling this past week.
One of the members of the richest family in America was again selling shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) this past week. Robson Walton parted with a block of 3 million shares of the iconic retailer at prices that ranged from $70.34 to $70.86 apiece. The total for the sale was a stunning $212 million. Shares closed last Friday at $69.89. The 52-week trading range for the stock is $62.72 to $75.19, and the Wall Street consensus price target is $74.37.
Another famous American company caught a seller last week. Eastman Kodak Co. (NYSE: KODK) had a 10% owner selling shares. Blue Mountain Capital sold a total of 1,353,653 shares, and prices ranged from $11.54 to $11.75 a share. The total for the sale was set at $16 million. The shares closed Friday at $11.50, in a 52 week range of $10 to $17.30. There was no consensus target as the stock is not followed on Wall Street.
Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ: TACO) had a director at the company selling stock last week. The board member shed a total of 831,314 shares at between $11.40 and $11.84 apiece. The total for the sale was $10 million. The shares ended the week at $12.36, in a 52-week range of $8.43 to $15.32. The consensus price target is $17.07.
Another director at Tyler Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TYL) was also busy selling stock last week. That director sold a total of 53,069 shares of the integrated information management solutions provider at prices that ranged from $155.24 to $156.26. The total for the sale was set at $8 million. The stock closed Friday at $156.35. The consensus price target is $180.09, and the 52-week range is $118.16 to $175.17.
Analog Devices Inc. (NYSE: ADI) has been on a huge run, and a director at the chip company took advantage by selling a block of 50,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $83.00 to $83.50. The total of the sale was set at $4 million. The shares ended Friday at $83.26, in a 52-week trading range is $52.17 to $84.24. The consensus price target is $89.42.
These companies also reported insider selling last week: Corcept Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CORT), Customers Bancorp Inc. (NYSE: CUBI), Ellie Mae Inc. (NYSE: ELLI), Fiserv Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) and Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA).
It is pretty safe to assume we will continue to see insider selling strong until earnings season, and if the market stays at or trades up from current levels, the volume and dollar amount could go up as well.