Investing

Insider Selling Very Slow as First Full Week of Earnings Concludes

While insiders, like everybody else who sells stocks, want to get out while the getting is good, many are facing the closing of windows to sell company shares as earnings reporting is now in full swing. As we have mentioned previously, insiders typically are not allowed to sell or buy shares when the company they are associated with is about to or just has reported earnings. The blackouts, as they are called, can last anywhere from a month to two months, depending on specific corporate guidelines.

We cover insider selling every week at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind our readers that if you see a stock you own being sold by an insider, it is not necessarily cause for alarm. Many insiders are compensated with company stock and stock options as part of the overall compensation package they have. Often they sell just to diversify.

Here are the companies that reported insider selling this week.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AERI) had a director at the company sell stock this past week. That director sold 275,000 shares at $33.45 apiece, for a grand total of $9.2 million. This clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of glaucoma and other eye diseases. Shares were trading on Friday’s close at $34.15, so a bit was left on the table.

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Memorial Resource Development Corp. (NYSE: MRD) returns to our screens again this week. Two 10% owners of the company sold a total of 300,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $18.57 to $19.30. The total for the sale came to $5.71 million. They also had a sale reported earlier this week of 122,000 shares at prices from $18.56 to $19.00 for a total of $1.22 million. The stock went public last summer, and this could very well be an IPO lock-up ending. Shares closed trading on Friday at $19.21.

Heritage Insurance Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HRTG) had a C suite member sell stock this week. CEO Bruce Lucas parted with some 113,000 shares of the stock at prices ranging between $22.00 and $22.04. The total came to $2.48 million. Shares closed trading Friday at $21.13, so a well-timed sale.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) had a division CEO sell some of the trendy clothing stock this week. The executive sold a block of 50,000 shares at $44 each, for a total sale amount of $2.2 million. The stock ended the week at $42.00, so another well-timed trade.

Mentor Graphics Inc. (NASDAQ: MENT) is another company in which the chief executive decided to hit the sell-side bid. Dr. Walden Rhines parted with a 100,000 share chunk of the company stock at $24.71 per share. The total for the sale came to $2.47 million. Shares were trading at $23.90 on Friday’s close.

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Other companies that reported insider selling this week included Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST) and Team Inc. (NYSE: TISI).

As with the insider buying this week, a very slow one for insiders selling company shares. Expect the volume to pick up big next month.