The dog days of August have typically meant slow volumes and vacations for the legions of traders and financial professionals that work on Wall Street. It also usually means that volumes in insider trading slow down as well. While that was not the case with the buyers this past week, it definitely was with the sellers. Yet it did not keep technology and financial services insiders from unloading shares.
We cover insider selling each week at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind our readers that if you see a stock you own on our lists, it is no cause for immediate concern. Many high level employees are paid and bonused with stock and stock options. Selling is a way to diversify and often invest in other assets. When we see suspicious selling, we point it out.
Here are the companies that reported notable insider selling this week.
Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AQXP) saw some major selling as two gigantic pharmaceutical companies that are 10% owners of the stock sold shares this past week as the stock spiked up huge. Pfizer sold 259,927 shares at prices that ranged from $21.45 to $41.24, for a total sale of $6.88 million. Not to be outdone, Johnson & Johnson sold 1.51 million shares at prices that ranged from $20.74 to $31.66, for a total sale of whopping $34 million. Aquinox posted positive mid-stage trial results for AQX-1125, its only clinical-stage drug candidate, for bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis. The stock shot up from under $3 on the August 7 to $55.75 on the 10th, so it is easy to see why the companies cashed out. We covered this amazing story in depth on Friday. The shares were trading on Friday’s close at $22.13.
WisdomTree Investments Inc. (NASDAQ: WETF) had a director at the company sell a ton of shares this past week. That director shed 628,571 shares of the stock at prices between $25.21 and $25.33. The total for the sale came to $15.9 million. The company, which is run by Jonathan Steinberg, the husband of well-known financial celebrity and anchor Maria Bartiromo, operates as an exchange traded funds (ETFs) sponsor and asset manager. The shares closed trading on Friday at $24.58, so a well-timed sale.