Investing

Massive Energy Trade Highlights High-Profile Insider Selling This Week

While the volume for insider trading has dropped dramatically due to earnings reporting, some very large trades hit the tape this week. Although many insiders at major corporations are still blacked out, some that have already reported are starting to open up for the executives and 10% holders of the stock. As a result, we saw some big action this week among the slower volume.

We cover insider selling each week at 24/7 Wall St., and as we like to point out as a reminder, insider selling is not necessarily a harbinger of bad things to come for a company. Many executives are compensated or bonused with stock and stock options. Selling helps them realize a cash payment for their efforts. It also helps many diversify.

Here are some of the companies that reported insider selling this week:

Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) had a gigantic insider trade this week. A director of the master limited partner (MLP) energy giant parted with a huge 1 million share block of the company’s stock. Park Shaper sold the stock at prices that ranged from $43.50 to $43.99 per share. The total for the sale came to a gigantic $43.7 million. Shares of the stock ended trading on Friday at $44.34.

ALSO READ: Big Earnings Week Keeps Insider Buying Slow but Steady

Memorial Production Partners L.P. (NASDAQ: MEMP) is another MLP that saw a big insider trade this week, this one by a 10% owner. MRD Holdco sold 509,000 shares of the company at prices between $16.99 and $17.19. The total for the sale came to $8.69 million. Shares closed trading on Friday at $17.27.

CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) is a major railroad transport stock that saw selling this past week. A director at the company sold a block of 166,000 shares at $32.38 apiece. The total for the sale came to $5.36 million. Shares of the company ended the week at $37.12, so a big pile of cash was left on the table.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) posted outstanding earnings this past week, and an executive vice president at the biotech giant was cleared to go and took advantage. The executive sold a total of 28,000 shares of the stock at $171.58, for total proceeds of $4.8 million. The stock was trading on Friday’s close at $167.91, so good timing there.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) also reported outstanding earnings, and that was all it took for the chief operating officer and the chief legal officer at the Wall Street giant to sell some stock this week. Between the two, they sold 85,000 shares at a price of $37.10, for a combined total of $3.14 million. The shares closed trading on Friday at $37.36.

These companies also reported insider selling this week: Bank of the Ozarks Inc. (NASDAQ: OZRK), CarMax Inc. (NYSE: KMX) and Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCHW).

With some big stocks hitting the tape, we may be just warming up for what could be a post-earnings deluge. That said, we carefully monitor insider selling and look for stocks that appear to be have selling on corporate headlines or earnings weakness. None of that was seen this week.

ALSO READ: Why Apple Dividend Hike and Buybacks Matter More Than Earnings

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