Insider Selling Jumps as Transaction Windows Open: MSCI, Six Flags, Align Technology, Shake Shack and More

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With the first-quarter earnings parade nearing an end, so are the closed windows that are put in place around earnings announcements that prevent insiders from buying or selling company stock. The black-out periods restrict shareholders from selling shares during a window that falls before, and sometimes extends after, earnings are reported. One thing is for sure, we are starting to see some volume increases in insider transactions.

We cover insider selling every week at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind readers that just because an individual or 10% institutional owner sells 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 last week.

MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI) had a director sell a large block of shares this past week. Value Act parted with a total of 298,200 shares of the company at prices that ranged from $74.59 to $75.87. The total for the sale came in at $22 million. MSCI offers content, applications and services to support the needs of institutional investors in investment processes worldwide. The shares traded on Friday’s close at $75.38.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: SIX) saw a director at the company selling stock. That director shed 175,000 shares at prices that ranged from $59.90 to $60.10 apiece. The total for the sale was posted at $11 million. Six Flags Entertainment owns and operates regional theme and water parks under the Six Flags brand name. The stock closed on Friday at $58.41, so a well-timed sale.

Align Technology Inc.

(NASDAQ: ALGN) also had a director selling stock last week. That director parted with some 64,773 shares of the stock at prices between $74.01 and $74.66. The total for the sale was right at $5 million. The company designs, manufactures and markets a system of clear aligner therapy, intra-oral scanners and computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing digital services for use in dentistry, orthodontics and dental records storage in the United States and internationally. The stock was trading at $74.70 as Friday’s session came to a close.

Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK) is yet another company in which a director sold stock this past week. That director, who is also a 10% owner, sold a total of 92,583 shares at prices that ranged from $35.08 to $36.14 a share. The total for the sale came in at $3 million. The company owns, operates and licenses Shake Shack restaurants that offer hamburgers, hot dogs, crispy chicken, crinkle-cut fries, shakes, frozen custard, beer, shakes, wine and other products. The stock ended the week at $34.33.

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (NYSE: SKT) had the man at the top, the guy with his name on the door, pull the trigger on a big sale last week. CEO Steven Tanger sold a block of 65,000 shares, at prices that ranged from $35.52 to $36.00, for a total of about $2 million. This real estate investment trust invests in the real estate markets in United States. It focuses on developing, acquiring, owning, operating and managing outlet shopping centers. The shares were changing hands on Friday’s close at $36.18.

These companies also reported insider selling this past week: Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) and Lockheed-Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT).

With earnings season drawing to a close and the windows for buying and selling opening, watch for the volume of buying and selling to increase in the coming weeks. As always, we will keep our readers up to date on all the current transactions.