Massive MSCI Sale Highlights Recent Insider Selling: Royal Caribbean, Ralph Lauren, Loews and More

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In a scene more reminiscent of this past summer, while not as barren, insider selling slowed some in volume this week as the market took a steep drop. With many investors fearing a rise in interest rates starting in December, the overall market took an absolute beating. This all came on the heels of a huge jobs report that saw a big jump in jobs added the prior week.

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.

MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI) saw a gigantic sale when Value Act Capital Management sold a huge 1,832,000 shares of stock at prices that ranged from $66.56 to $68.83 apiece. The total for sale came to $123.7 million. MSCI provides investment decision support tools worldwide. Its tools include indexes, portfolio risk and performance analytics and multi-asset class market risk analytics products and services. The stock was trading midday Friday at $66.25.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) had a director of the company selling shares this past week. That director parted with a total of 112,980 shares at prices that fell between $98.00 and $98.05. The total for the sale came to $11.1 million. The stock was trading at $96.18 on Friday, so the timing looked good.

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Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) had the president of the company selling shares last week. She sold a total of 44,773 shares at prices that ranged from $132.64 to $136.69. That netted her $6.1 million. The company designs, markets and distributes lifestyle products worldwide. The stock was trading on Friday at $119.43, so very well timed indeed.

Loews Corp. (NYSE: L) had the co-chairman of the board selling stock this past week. The chairman moved a total of 148,000 shares at prices that fell from $37.00 to $37.31 apiece. The total for the sale came to $5.5 million. Loews operates as a commercial property and casualty insurance company, primarily in the United States. The shares were trading on Friday at $37.16.

Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM) showed up again on our insider selling screens last week. The chairman sold an additional 22,000 shares of the brewer at prices that ranged from $204.57 to $214.00 per share. The total for the sale came to $4.6 million. The company sells alcohol beverages in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, the Pacific Rim, Mexico and Central and South America. The company sells approximately 60 beers under the Samuel Adams or the Sam Adams brands. The stock was trading on Friday at $203.18.

These companies also reported insider selling this week: Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Greenbrier Companies Inc. (NYSE: GBX), Oceaneering International Inc. (NYSE: OII) and Popular Inc. (NASDAQ: BPOP).

While we saw much higher volume than during the massive summer sell-off, this week’s insider selling was lighter than we have seen over the past month. Any large year-end rally could induce more selling.

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