Insider Selling Picks Up as Market Volatility Jumps

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While very few people are great at timing the market, many insiders looking to sell company stock simply have an established 10b 5-1plan in place that sells shares on a regular basis. Not only does this limit them from liability, it also helps them liquidate larger company positions over time to lower the tax burden. As the market hits new highs, insiders with plans that happened to be selling this past week were well served.

We cover the insider selling at major companies every week at 24/7 Wall Street. We always like to caution our readers that insider selling doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong at the company. Many executives are overweighted to their own company’s stock and sell to diversify or for other reasons.

Here is this past week’s notable insider selling.

Receptos Inc. (NASDAQ: RCPT) is a biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutic candidates for the treatment of immune and metabolic diseases. Two company directors did some big selling this week, as one sold 300,000 shares at prices that ranged from $62.55 up to $63.67, for a total of $18.8 million. A second director later in the week sold 100,000 shares at prices that ranged from $61.07 to $63.08, for a total of $6.1 million. Shares were trading Friday at $63.74, up more than 3%.

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UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) also had a director doing some large insider selling He parted with 100,000 shares of the stock at $87.03. The stock has done well this year, up more than 20%. Shares of the giant health care company were trading on Friday at $86.07.

VirnetX Holding Corp. (NYSEMKT: VHC) is a very small market cap Internet security software and technology company with patented technology for secure communications including 4G LTE security. Its CEO decided to do some serious selling as he shed 1.75 million shares of the stock at $4.46. The total sale amount came to $7.8 million. This CEO may have left a little on the table as shares were trading Friday at $6.54, up almost 20%.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is a large cap technology leader that had some insider selling this week. An executive vice president sold 83,100 shares of network behemoth at $25.11, for a total sale of $2.1 million. Cisco shares were trading on Friday at $24.85.

Select Medical Holdings Corp. (NYSE: SEM) operates specialty hospitals and outpatient rehabilitation clinics in the United States. A director at the company sold 300,052 shares of stock at prices ranging from $12.89 to $13.04. The stock was trading on Friday just below those levels at $12.44.

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Other companies that saw some insider selling this week includ: Panhandle Oil and Gas,Inc. (NYSE: PHX) and Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRE).