Top Insider Selling of Stocks This Week from Biotech, Tech, Sam Zell, and More

In what was yet another very volatile week for the markets, insider selling and insider buying has been active. We have evaluated some of the top insider selling transactions this last week. It is important to consider that insiders can sell shares for a myriad of reasons, including tax and estate planning, portfolio diversification, a liquidity event, or even for personal purchases. Still, investors often want to know who has been selling a stock to see if the insiders might be taking chips off the table.

With market volume slowing down to late August’s snail’s pace, some insiders may want to get a jump on the Labor Day holiday and sell some stock beforehand. Here are this weeks top insider sales that have been reported.

Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) saw some selling from a C suite member. The CEO of the hard drive and storage giant sold 50,000 shares at $56.60. The take home was about $2.8 million. Shares of Seagate were trading late Friday at $58.79.

Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE: WNR) had one of the vice presidents sell some stock this week. He sold 100,000 shares at a price of $45.54 for a nice take home total of $4.5 million. Shares were trading Friday at $46.29.

Philip Morris International, Inc. (NYSE: PM) had a seller from the very top of the firm. The chairman of the board sold 36,000 shares of stock at $83.01 for a total of $2.9 million. The stock has had an outstanding year but has sold off some in the last two weeks. Shares were trading Friday at $85.10.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) has been one of the hottest biotech stocks over the last two years, and a senior vice president at the company took advantage of the run to sell 11,646 shares at prices ranging from $339.33 to $341.27. The proceeds of the trade added up to $3.9 million. The chairman of the company also sold stock this week. His batch of 8028 shares went out at prices ranging from $340 to $340.15 for a total of $3 million. The stock as trading Friday at $349.23.

Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ: CERN) has rallied sharply off lows that were hit in April. The CEO took advantage of the move in the stock this summer and sold 54,000 shares at prices that ranged from $56.22 to $56.57. The total for the trade was right at $3 million. Cerner shares were slightly lower Friday at $55.67.

Anixter International Inc. (NYSE: AXE) saw a very influential 10% owner sell stock this week. Real Estate legend Sam Zell, who is also a director of the company, sold a huge 1 million shares at prices that ranged from $87.12 to $90.82. Zell took home the gigantic sum of $81.2 million. The shares were trading Friday at $85.98.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCRX) is up almost 80% this year, and the huge gain was just the ticket for one of the directors to head for the exits. He sold a total of 150,000 shares at prices ranging from $101 to $101.50. The sale brought in a total of $15.2 million in proceeds. Pacira shares were trading Friday at $102.60.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNSS) is the third biotech to hit our screens with substantial insider selling this week. A director of the company sold 743,700 sharesfor a total $5 million. The exact share prices were not reported. The company focuses on the development and commercialization of oncology therapeutics for the treatment of solid and hematologic cancers, The stock was trading later on Friday at $7.33.

Trinity Industries Inc. (NYSE: TRN) saw a sizeable sale of stock from the top of the company. The CEO and a senior vice president sold a combined 93,468 shares of stock at prices that ranged from $42.42 to $42.45. The total sale came to $3.9 million. The stock has been trading near its 52 week high, and shares were changing hands Friday at $44.11.

Apartment Investment and Management Company (NYSE: AIV) is yet another company that saw somebody at the top sell a sizeable amount of shares. The CEO sold 99.051 shares of stock at $33.19. The trade was worth a total of $3.3 million. The stock was trading Friday at $33.26.

The sellers were definitely out in force this week, but for the second week running it appeared that there were more buyers, perhaps wanting to take advantage of the early August selling.

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