Investing

Plunging Stock Market Keeps Insider Selling Very Low

With the market very close to full correction levels this past week, it should come as very little surprise to anybody that most insiders looking to sell stock chose to stay away. Not only were prices substantially lower on the week, but typically when the markets are in free-fall mode, bids are extremely weak, and any size selling generally just knocks them down even further.

We cover insider selling each week at 24/7 Wall Street, and we like to remind our readers that insider selling is not necessarily an indication of trouble. Many insiders are overweighted to their company’s stock and sell for reasons ranging from plain old diversification to estate and tax planning.

Here is this past week’s insider selling report, albeit one of the briefest ones recently.

Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO) sure didn’t escape selling because of market conditions. A director at the company sold a large 400,000-share block of the stock at $101.40. The total take home from the sale was a whopping $40.6 million. Vornado shares were trading at $104.67 on Friday’s close, so some significant money was left on the table.

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Bluebird Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE) returns to our selling screens for a second time in the past few weeks. A director at the company sold a 115,000-share block of the stock at $35.35 apiece. The total from the sale of the stock came to a tidy $4.1 million. Shares of the biotech company ended trading at $36.00 on Friday.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) is a very high-profile name that saw some insider selling this past week. The giant warehouse retailer had two executive vice presidents sell stock. The pair sold a total of 22,000 shares this past week at prices that ranged from $128.10 to $130.20. The stock ended Friday at $124.65, so the selling looks quite timely.

Cantel Medical Corp. (NYSE: CMN) had a director come in and sell a 50,000-share block of the stock at prices that ranged from $37.56 to $38.14. The total take home from the sale was $1.9 million. Shares ended the week at $36.80, so another well-timed sale.

While it was a very slow week, if Friday’s huge move up in the markets is sustained in the coming week, the sellers are likely to return.

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