Huge Momentum Tech Stock Trade Highlights Insider Selling

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As the markets have gotten more volatile, we are beginning to see insiders pull more money off the table. Who can blame them? With the S&P 500 up over 200% since the lows of 2009, and the market trading at a very rich 18 times trailing earnings, it should be expected that insiders, especially long-time holders, would want to cash in some.

We cover insider selling every week at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind our readers that just because an individual or 10% institutional owner is selling stock, that is no cause for immediate alarm. Many top executives, and even directors, are compensated with stock and often sell just to diversify or purchase other assets.

Here are companies that reported notable insider selling this past week.

GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) saw a gigantic trade hit the tape last week as a sell. A 10% owner of the company, Sageview Capital, sold a block of 700,000 shares of the stock at prices ranging from $56.51 to $57.07. The total for the huge sale was $39.8 million. The stock continues on a roll higher even after this big sale. Shares closed trading on Friday at $59.41.

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CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) had somebody right at the top-selling shares last week. Influential CEO Leslie Moonves sold a block of 315,256 shares of the broadcasting giant’s shares at $61.87 apiece. The total for the sale came to a large $19.5 million. CBS has been on an outstanding roll the past couple of years, so really no big surprise. The shares ended trading on Friday at $61.33.

Inogen Inc. (NASDAQ: INGN) is another company that saw a 10% holder of the stock sell shares. Arboretum Ventures sold 337.0821 shares at prices that ranged from $37.30 to $37.58. The total for the sale was $12.6 million. Inogen is a medical technology company that primarily develops, manufactures and markets portable oxygen concentrators for patients, physicians and other clinicians, and third-party payors in the United States and internationally. The stock was trading on Friday’s close at $39.81, so some significant money was left on the table.

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (NASDAQ: CTSH) is another big-time tech company that saw selling this past week. The vice chairman of the company parted with a block of 100,000 shares at prices that fell between $64.42 and $64.75. That netted him more than $3.5 million. The stock ended the week right in line with the sale at $64.60.

Bank of the Ozarks Inc. (NASDAQ: OZRK) had a director at the regional bank selling stock this past week. The director sold 122,696 shares at prices that ranged from $45.12 to $45.16. We have noted numerous sales of this bank stock by insiders over the past six months. With the stock up almost 50% since the fall, it is not surprising to see some selling. The stock closed trading Friday at $45.71.

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These companies also reported insider selling this week: Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Lexmark Inc. (NYSE: LXK), Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG), Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (NYSE: SKT) and Total Systems Services Inc. (NYSE: TSS).

With volatility jumping in an already pricey market, insider selling is not surprising. We continue to watch for selling that looks desperate and will report on it.