As 2016 draws to a close, insiders are taking advantage of all-time record highs in the markets to do some end of the year selling, and boy did they ever sell. We saw some of the biggest names in the technology world selling shares last week, and probably we will see a fair amount this coming week as we wrap up a very strong year for the markets.
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 last week.
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) had the man at the top of the search giant selling shares this past week. Lawrence Page shed two blocks of 33,332 shares. The first block was priced at $802.65 a share and the second one at $804.92. The total for the combined trades was a huge $53,583,423. The consensus price target for the stock is $966.68. The shares were changing hands on Friday’s close at $807.80.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) had the founder, chief executive and board chair of the social media giant selling shares. Mark Zuckerberg sold two huge blocks of his company’s stock. First he parted with 398,431 shares at a price of $119.22. The next day he sold an additional 399,645 shares at $118.86 apiece. The total of the two sales was posted at just under $95 million. The consensus price target for the stock is $155.56, and the shares closed on Friday at $117.27, so the timing was good.
Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) also had a huge seller on the trading desk last week. Silver Lake Partners sold a total of 385,797 shares of the supplier of semiconductor connectivity solutions at a share price of $180.36. The total for the sale was a whopping $69,582,178. The consensus price target for the red-hot technology company is set at $211.68. The shares were trading at $181.94 as the week came to a close.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) also had the man at the top selling some shares last week. Founder and CEO Reed Hastings gave up 87,297 shares of the company at $126.72 apiece. The total for the trade was posted at $$11,062,456. The consensus price target for the streaming content and entertainment giant is $124.10. The shares closed above that level on Friday at $125.59.
ServiceNow Inc. (NYSE: NOW) had a director at the enterprise cloud-based solutions provider selling stock last week. Frederic Luddy sold a total of 101,500 shares at $76.84 apiece. The total for the sale was $7,799,376. The consensus price target is $93.41, and shares were trading last Friday at $76.02.
These companies also reported insider selling last week: Famous Dave’s of America Inc. (NASDAQ: DAVE), Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NYSE: HST), Summit Materials Inc. (NYSE: SUM), TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) and Workday Inc. (NYSE: WDAY).
Also see the week’s top insider buys at 21st Century Fox, Wynn Resorts and more.
While shareholders may be surprised to see such massive insider trades, it’s important to remember all these tech leaders have huge numbers of shares and regularly sell some. With prices also at or near all-time highs, some selling should come as no surprise.