Investing

Top Technology and Momentum Stocks Catch Insider Selling

In what is becoming a predictable pattern, despite the sizable market rally this past week, following some serious selling promoted by the plunge in oil price and energy stocks, insider selling is still lagging the buyers in overall dollar amount and shares traded. While it is possible that many insiders with planned selling programs have already taken some chips off the table for 2014, the overall ratio of buying to selling remains a positive for those long the stock market.

24/7 Wall St. covers insider selling each week, and we like to remind readers that when insiders sell stock that isn’t necessarily a negative or a signal for other shareholders to follow suit. Many insiders, especially corporate executives are overweighted to company shares and may be selling to diversify and re-deploy capital.

Here are this past week’s top insider selling trades that hit our screens.

Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) is a top technology stock that saw a gigantic insider trade last week. ValueAct Holdings, a 10% owner, sold 2.1 million shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $74.09 to $74.70. The total sale came to a mammoth $154.4 million. Adobe of course, is well-known for the company’s Acrobat and Creative Cloud brand software products. Shares closed trading on Friday at $74.45, pretty much in line with the sale.

ALSO READ: Despite Huge Rally, High-Profile Insiders Still Buying Stocks

Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RH) has been a momentum trader’s dream since coming back from private equity with an IPO two years ago. Two directors at the boutique hardware company decided it was high time to ring the bell. They sold a combined 178,733 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $93.29 to $95.25. The final total for the sale was a whopping $17 million. The shares traded Friday as high as $99.87, so a little as left on the table.

Western Gas Partners L.P. (NYSE: WES) is an energy master limited partnership (MLP) that saw some sizable insider selling. A director at the company sold 300,000 shares at prices that ranged from $67.76 to $69.28. The total for the sale came to a very stout $20.6 million. Investors holding this MLP may want to double-check their thesis. While no one wants to sell during a free fall, it is somewhat discouraging to see a director sell at this juncture. Western Gas was trading at Friday’s close at $71.18, so a fair amount was left on the table.

Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) had some of the C suite executives selling stock this past week. The chief financial officer and the chief development officer of the home improvement giant sold a combined 123,618 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $64.87 to $65.67. The sale totaled a tidy $8.1 million. Given the stock’s tremendous run this year, it makes sense that some higher-ups may sell some stock. Lowe’s shares ended trading on Friday at $66.90.

TG Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: TGTX) has the interim CEO come in a sell some stock last week. He parted with a total of 210,618 shares of the small-cap biotech company at $16.44 a piece, for a total sale of $3.4 million. The company focuses on the acquisition, development and commercialization of various pharmaceutical products for the treatment of cancer and other underserved therapeutic needs. Shares ended the week at $16.45. Shareholders may want to take a look at the stock and see if there are any new clinical or other data.

ALSO READ: 10 Recent Dividend Hikes and Stock Buybacks Too Big to Ignore

Other companies that reported insider selling this week included XOMA Corp. (NASDAQ: XOMA), Federated Investors Inc. (NYSE: FII) and Tyler Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TYL).

A very light week for insider selling may look larger next week as corporate executives and other holders weigh the huge rally that capped off the back end of this trading week.