Insiders Sell High-Profile Stocks as Market Trades Higher

February 14, 2015 by 247lee

While some would think that the upward push in the markets would really bring out the insiders wanting to sell stock, for the second week in a row, despite positive moves in all the indexes, insider selling is at a medium level. While some of the trades were large, the overall volume seems lower than expected in a big market run. As we have mentioned in the past, many insiders may still be locked up from an earnings reporting window. The lighter volume though still continues to be the trend.

We cover insider selling each week here at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind our readers that insiders selling stock should not necessarily to be interpreted as negative. Many C-suite executives are compensated with stock and stock options and may sell to diversify. Many 10% owners have had capital in companies for many years and are looking to cash some out.

Here are the top insider selling trades that were reported this past week.

Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCHW) had a familiar guest at the selling window for yet another week. The founder of the venerable discount brokerage firm, Charles Schwab, sold another chunk of his holdings this week, some 400,000 shares of the stock at share prices between $27.97 and $29.17. The total of the sale came to $11.5 million. Shares closed trading on Friday at $29.13.

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Towers Watson & Co. (NYSE: TW) had a managing director at the company sell shares this past week. Patricia Guinn parted with 60,000 shares of the stock at $129.50 apiece. The sale came to a very tidy $7.8 million. Towers Watson is a professional services company that provides human capital and financial consulting services worldwide. Shares ended the week at $131.99, so some money was left on the table.

Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) saw the president of the company sell shares this past week. Kriss Cloninger surrendered 126,300 shares at $60.56 each, for a total that came to $7.7 million. Aflac shares were trading at $62.13 at the close of Friday’s session.

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX), the massive hard-disc-drive company, also had a top executive at the company sell stock. The CEO sold a block of 100,000 shares of the stock at $60.10 apiece. The total of the sale came to $6 million. Seagate shares closed trading on Friday at $61.83.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) had a director at the entertainment giant sell stock this week. Fred Langhammer parted with 20,122 shares at $102.20 apiece. The total sale came to $2.1 million. Disney shares, which have been on a strong roll, ended Friday at $104.17.

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These companies also reported some insider selling this week: Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NASDAQ: NDAQ), Synchronoss Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SNCR), Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) and Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR).

The sellers are there, but most seem to be taking advantage of stocks hitting highs, which is not the least bit surprising. We do monitor insider selling when it looks as though somebody is bailing on shares when a company has an earnings miss or other hiccup.