Huge Intel Sale by Top Executive Highlights Recent Insider Selling

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Well we knew it would just be a matter of time, but as the third-quarter earnings season starts to wind down and the final two trading months of the year are on deck, insiders are buying and selling shares at levels we haven’t witnessed since way back in the summer. While the volume certainly has jumped, it’s a good bet it will continue to trend higher into the end of the year.

We cover insider selling every week at 24/7 Wall St., and we always like to remind 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.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) had a seller from the C-suite level of the company decide it was time to part with some shares. The chief financial officer of the chip giant, Stacy Smith, sold a total of 225,963 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $34.37 to $34.43 apiece. The total for the stock sale came to a tidy $7.7 million. Intel shares were trading on Friday’s close at $33.86, so a well-timed trade, it appears.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: SIX) was far and away the big trade sale this past week. A 10% owner of the company, H Partners Management, sold a huge 1,031,594 shares of the stock at prices between $52.19 and $53.00. The total for the massive sale came to $54.1 million. Six Flags owns and operates regional theme and water parks. Its parks offer various thrill rides, water attractions, themed areas, concerts and shows, restaurants, game venues and retail outlets. The stock closed trading Friday at $52.04, and it has been on a big run since the summer.

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Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) had top executives of the company selling shares last week. The CEO and an executive vice president sold a combined 78,228 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $99.14 to $100.39 per share. The pair came away with a total of $7.8 million. The president of the cruise line also sold 90,000 shares at prices between $98.52 and $99.33, for a total take of $8.9 million. The share price ended the week at $98.35, so the timing for the sales looks very good.

Cameron International Corp. (NYSE: CAM) saw a director of the company sell shares of this oil services giant. That director parted with a total of 80,027 shares of the stock at $67.45 apiece. The sale brought in a solid $5.4 million. The company, which provides flow equipment products, systems and services worldwide, was bought this summer by oil services behemoth Schlumberger in a huge $14.8 billion deal. Shares closed trading on Friday at $68.01, so some money left on the table.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE: DPS) had two executives at the company with a thirst to sell. The CEO and an executive vice president sold a total of 53,500 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $89.32 to $90.39. The total for the sales came to a very tidy $4.8 million. The stock was trading at $89.37 on Friday’s close.

These companies also reported insider selling this week: Bank of the Ozarks Inc. (NASDAQ: OZRK), Capella Education Co. (NASDAQ: CPLA), Manhattan Associates Inc. (NASDAQ: MANH) and Simpson Manufacturing Co. Inc. (NYSE: SSD).

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Regular readers can tell that the pace and volume really is picking up after months of very little activity. We expect that the volumes of insider buying and selling will continue to increase as we head toward the end of the year.