Insider Selling Highlights: Cisco, Shake Shack and More (Updated)

You talk about a roller-coaster ride, this past week in the stock market was the epitome. Following a huge rally after the Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in nine years, stocks sold off big and investors dived into U.S. Treasuries, sending yields lower. The volatility also kept insiders away as selling slowed dramatically.

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

Mohawk Industries Inc. (NYSE: MHK) had a GP owner selling stock this past week. Suzanne Helen parted with 21,776 shares of the company at between $192.90 and $198.05 per share. The total amount of the sale came to $4.2 million. Mohawk Industries designs, manufactures, sources, distributes and markets flooring products for residential and commercial applications for remodeling and new constructions worldwide. The stock closed trading on Friday at $188.02.

HollyFrontier Corp. (NYSE: HFC) saw its chief executive officer selling stock last week. Michael Jennings shed a 100,000 share block of the stock at prices that ranged from $40.80 to $41.64. That netted him some $4.1 million. The company operates as an independent petroleum refiner in the United States. Its high-value refined products include gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, specialty lubricant products, liquid petroleum gas, fuel oil and specialty and modified asphalt. The stock ended Friday at $42.03, so some money was left on the table.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) had an executive vice president at the networking technology giant selling shares this past week. That executive sold a block of 80,000 shares at prices that fell between $26.67 and $27.13. The total for the sale came to $2.2 million. Cisco shares traded at $26.27 on Friday’s close.

Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK) had a pair of 10% owners of the company selling shares. Select Equity Group and Green Equity Investors sold a total of 200,000 shares at prices that ranged from $40.31 to $41.20. The total came to $8.1 million. The company had a super-hot initial public offering this year and traded as high as $96, but the stock has been hammered since peaking. Shares ended the week at $39.75.

(Correction): Equity Residential Inc. (NYSE: EQR) was originally listed in this article as having real estate investor Sam Zell selling a block of more than 2 million shares. EQR contacted 24/7 Wall St. noting that that this transaction was inaccurate and did not take place. A further review from FINVIZ insider trading data shows that three other insiders (including the CEO/president) took place recently, and that two of the sales appear to be “option exercise” transactions, but Sam Zell’s name was not listed among the insider sales. Sometimes errors occur in insider transaction readings. and that original figure and officer/insider name appears to have been an error.

These companies also reported insider selling this week: Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN), Chubb Corp. (NYSE: CB), Cimarex Energy Co. (NYSE: XEC), j2 Global Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM) and Range Resources Inc. (NYSE: RRC).

Clearly insiders were not in the mood to sell shares this week, and with only two shortened trading weeks left for 2015, it will be interesting to see if the volume jumps as the end of 2015 draws closer.

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