With the stock markets trading at record highs this past week, it is hardly a surprise that sellers are starting to come out of the woodwork. This is true for insider sellers as well, who in many cases own their company stock at prices that can be far below the current market value. This week’s shortened trading didn’t stop a host of insiders from selling stock and taking advantage of a solid August rally.
Remember that insider selling is not necessarily a harbinger of bad things to come. Many insiders are overweighted in their portfolios to stock where they work and they sell to diversify. Other reasons for selling can include tax payments or to make purchases of other expensive items.
Here are the top insider selling reports posted this past week.
Western Refining Inc. (NYSE: WNR) saw a very significant sell by the chairman of the board. He parted with 500,000 shares of the company stock at prices that ranged from $46.04 to $46.55. That sizable trade brought home a total of $23.1 million. Western had a 10% gain in the August rally, so the timing seems solid, to say the least. Shares were trading Friday at $46.97.
Measurement Specialties Inc. (NASDAQ: MEAS) gapped up huge in June and has stayed at current trading levels since then. The CEO of the company took advantage of the move and sold 52,292 shares of the thinly traded stock at $85.66 to $85.68 for a total of $4.5 million. The company designs and manufactures sensors and sensor-based systems to precisely and cost-effectively measure a number of physical characteristics in several markets from military and defense to medical, consumer and industrial. Shares were trading late Friday at $85.66 on light volume.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is a major blue-chip company that had an insider sell stock this past week. A senior vice president at the money center bank sold 50,000 shares of the stock at $51.48. The total amounted to $2.6 million. The bank continues to be a Wall Street and Warren Buffett favorite, and it was trading in-line with the sale level Friday at $51.33.
Deckers Outdoor Corp. (NYSE: DECK) has absolutely torched short sellers of the stock over the years, and it saw a C level executive sell shares this past week. The CEO of the company, famous for its UGG brand of footwear, sold 40,000 shares of stock at $92.84 for a total of $3.7 million. Shares were changing hands on Friday at $95.11, up over 1.5%.
3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) was another very high-profile and volatile stock to see insider selling at the top of the company this past week. The CEO of the 3D printing firm sold 52,300 shares at $53.20, for a total sale of $2.8 million. The company recently acquired LayerWise, a Belgium-based provider of advanced direct metal 3D printing and manufacturing services, for an undisclosed sum. The deal is expected to prove immediately accretive to 3D Systems’ cash generation. Shares were trading Friday at $50.76
Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE: CXO) has been a red-hot Permian Basin energy play over the past year, and the company’s CFO took advantage of the good move in the stock this past week. He sold just 15,000 shares but caught a price of $140 per share. The total for the trade was $2.1 million. Shares were changing hands below that price on Friday at $134.
Other top companies that showed up on the 24/7 Wall Street insider selling report included: Select Medical Holdings Corp. (NYSE: SEM), REX American Resources Corp. (NYSE: REX), Arch Capital Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: ACGL), Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) and Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SNSS).
We cover insider selling each and every week at 24/7 Wall Street. If any of these companies that saw selling are in your portfolio, check their costs and see if it is time to do some of your own selling, especially if they have solid long-term gains.