Insiders Sold Shares of High-Profile Companies This Week

With the surging stock market in rally and holiday mode this past week, the pace and volume dropped to the usual levels expected as summer comes to a close. This certainly didn’t prevent insiders at some of the top firms on Wall Street from selling shares. 24/7 Wall St. wanted to offer readers a review of who has been selling while they enjoy the long holiday weekend.

Insider selling is significant, but it is not always a warning sign. Many top company officials sell stock for diversification, to expand their portfolios or to make other capital expenditures and purchases. With that in mind, if top company officials are selling stock that has made headlines with issues and problems, investors should take note.

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has had a fantastic year, and it rewarded shareholders by trading to record highs. This prompted the CEO, COO and an executive vice president to sell a total of 288,683 shares at prices that ranged from $31.22 to $31.41. The trades totaled $9 million. While a significant sell, many analysts on Wall Street remain very positive on the airline. Shares were trading at Friday’s close at $32.01.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ICPT) has been a very hot Wall Street stock, and many think the company could be one of the next biotech takeover targets. That didn’t stop OrbiMed Advisors from selling 111, 258 shares of the stock at prices from $295.59 to $300.07. The sales brought in a gigantic $33.2 million. Intercept shares closed Friday at $289.72.

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Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) is a volatile high-profile name that saw some substantial selling that may raise some eyebrows. A director from Air Liquide Investments sold a huge 5,521,676 shares at $5.80 in a trade that brought in about $32 million. While the company recently beat earnings expectations and posted the first profit in its history, shareholders may want to review their thesis on the stock after the large sell. Shares closed Friday at $5.58.

Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) is another Wall Street favorite that caught some insider selling this past week. The music streaming leader saw an affiliate of director, Crosslink Capital, sell 142,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $27.25 to $27.31. The total for the sale came to $3.9 million. Pandora closed Friday at $27.04.

3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) is in the very hot 3D printing arena, and it has been an extremely volatile stock this year. The CFO of the company sold a tidy 50,000 shares of the stock at $52.72. The total sale came to a very nice $2.6 million. 3D Systems shares were changing hands at $53.51 as the week’s trading came to an end.

Tableau Software Inc. (NYSE: DATA) is another high-flying technology stock that saw top executives sell shares. Two directors at Tableau sold a total of 104,624 shares, which brought in $6.4 million. Shares ended the week at $65.49.

Other top companies that saw substantial insider selling this week included Cardiovascular Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSII), Epizyme Inc. (NASDAQ: EPZM), Altera Corp. (NASDAQ: ALTR) and Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE: BKD).

As we like to caution, while insider selling takes many different forms, with the stock market hitting record highs, and some executives hitting the exits, investors may want to see if any of these names reside in their portfolios and need to be trimmed or sold completely.

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