Insiders Selling Large Blue Chip Stocks: Boeing, Texas Instruments, New York Times, UnitedHealth, Starbucks and More

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We don’t have a crystal ball here at 24/7 Wall St., but we do know a thing or two about insider transactions. When the earnings season ends, as we predicted, the buyers and sellers started to hit our screens again in full force. Insiders typically are blacked out from selling and buying shares of their companies when earnings are being released. However, when that blackout ends, they are good to go, and this week’s big lift in volume indicates many windows have opened back up.

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

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) had a senior vice president at the aerospace giant selling shares last week. That executive parted with a total of 22,341 shares of the company at prices that ranged from $133.48 to $133.78 apiece. The total proceeds from the trade came to $3 million. The shares were trading on Friday’s close at $127.38, so a well-timed sale.

Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) is an old-school tech company that caught a seller last week. An executive vice president shed a total of 34,126 shares at prices that ranged from $57.98 to $58.04. The total for the sale was posted at $2 million. Texas Instruments designs, manufactures and sells semiconductors to electronics designers and manufacturers worldwide. The stock closed Friday at $58.53.

New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) had a man at the top selling shares of the newspaper. The chairman Arthur Sulzberger parted with a total of 143,940 shares of the stock at prices between $11.96 and $12.08 per share. That netted him some $2 million. The stock closed trading on Friday at $12.09.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) had a director selling shares this past week. That director sold a block of 25,000 shares of the health care giant at prices that ranged from $129 to $130. The total for the sale came in right at $3 million. The stock ended the week at $130.94.

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) also had a director at shedding stock last week. That director sold a block of 50,000 shares of the coffee retailing giant at prices that ranged from $55.30 to $55.76 apiece. The total for the sale was posted at $3 million. Starbucks shares closed most recently at $54.62, so the timing looks good.

These companies also reported insider selling this week: Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), Fabrinet (NYSE: FN), Federated Investors Inc. (NYSE: FII), Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT) and Markel Corp. (NYSE: MKL).

The insiders are back and they are buying and selling, and it’s a good bet we continue to see volumes increase as we roll into summer. Until the period for second-quarter earnings rolls around in July, the windows for insiders will be wide open.