With the market racing close to new all-time highs, the insiders wasted little time in taking advantage of the big run up to get some shares on the trade desk and out the door. Who can blame them? With second-quarter earnings just about three weeks away, the windows for executives and 10% owners will soon start to shut. And with the potential for a very volatile summer, selling shares now may be a solid idea.
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 is selling stock, that is no cause for immediate alarm. Many top executives, and even directors, are compensated with stock, and they 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 selling a large block of shares last week. Value Act parted with a massive block of 1,800,000 shares of the company at prices that ranged from $76.21 to $78.96 per share. The total for the sale came in at a whopping $127 million. MSCI offers content, applications and services to support the needs of institutional investors in investment processes worldwide. The shares closed Friday at $76.72.
A gigantic institutional seller of Insperity Inc. (NYSE: NSP) stepped up again last week. Hedge fund Starboard Value sold 313,918 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $72.20 to $72.67. The total for the sales came in at a strong $23 million. Insperity provides an array of human resources and business solutions to enhance business performance for small and medium-sized businesses in the United States. The shares closed Friday at $75.00, and this was another beautifully top-ticked sale as the stock had run big since the end of April.
Best Buy Inc. (NYSE: BBY) caught a seller last week. The CEO of the big-box retailer, Hubert Joly, shed a total of 398,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $32.06 to $32.49. That netted him some $13 million. It should be noted that this sale was about half of Joly’s total position, a little disconcerting for Best Buy shareholders. The shares closed Friday at $29.44.
The chief of operations at Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was selling shares this past week. The executive parted with a total of 90,000 shares of the networking giant at prices that ranged from $28.94 to $29.01. The total for the trade was posted at $3 million. Cisco shares ended last week at $29.03.
The CEO of Gentex Corp. (NASDAQ: GNTX) also was selling shares last week. Fred Bauer sold a total of 351,700 shares at prices between $15.44 at $16.46 apiece. The total for the sale came in at $6 million. The company designs, develops, manufactures and markets automatic-dimming rear-view mirrors and electronics for the automotive industry, as well as dimmable aircraft windows for the aviation industry and commercial smoke alarms and signaling devices for the fire protection industry, worldwide. The stock closed Friday at $15.98.
These companies also reported insider selling last week: Duke Realty Corp. (NYSE: DRE), Flextronics International Ltd. (NASDAQ: FLEX), Liberty Media Group (NASDAQ: LMCA), Mohawk Industries Inc. (NYSE: MHK) and RPC Inc. (NYSE: RPC).
It’s no surprise to see insiders selling stock at current market levels. It remains to be seen if the volume will stay high the rest of this month, but there is a very good chance that market volatility could jump and selling may follow.