Large Biotech and Tech Highlight Insider Selling: Applied Materials, Celgene, Cisco Systems, Palo Alto, Delphi and More

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What a wild and crazy week for investors. The stock market volatility index jumped up and down as the Brexit decision was finally answered. With the quarter coming to an end, some big insiders decided to take advantage of open transaction windows, which will soon start slamming shut, to sell shares. We spotted some interesting trades in the technology and biotechnology sectors.

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. It could be estate planning, tax planning, or even literally for spending money. Many top executives and even director are compensated with stock, and often sell just to diversify or purchase other assets.

Here are some of the key companies which reported insider selling which was reported in the week ending June 25.

Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) saw Ali Salehpour (VP) sell over 35,500 shares for a total of $850,000 and another block of more than 17,000 shares. Still, he registered some 77,000 shares back on June 14. Applied Materials is the leader in semiconductor capital equipment. Its stock closed down over 5.2% at $23.23 due to Brexit pressure.

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) had one of the top executives selling shares last week. Robert Hugin, who is the Executive Chairman at the biotech giant sold a total of 75,000 shares of the stock at a price of $100.16. The total for the sale was posted at $7,512,000. The company discovers, develops, and commercializes therapies to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases worldwide. The shares closed the day Friday at $100.66.

Cisco Systems. Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) had the chief development officer at the tech behemoth selling shares. Pankaj Patel sold a total of 49,387 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $28.86 to $29.02. The total proceeds from the sale came in at $1,431,057. Cisco shares closed the day on Friday at $29.22.Cisco remains one the 24/7 Wall St. 10 stocks to own for the decade.

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE: PANW) saw multiple officers sell in blocks of over to 2,000 to 0ver 4,000 shares at a time. Sometimes investors hate seeing larger numbers of insiders selling, but this is often a sign of a sale window being opened or about to close. With a stock price of over $120.00 it doesn’t take a lot of shares at any given time to add up to real money. Shares of Palo Alto Networks closed at $121.78 on Friday.

Delphi Automotive PLC (NYSE: DLPH) had the EVP of operations at the company selling shares last week. James Spencer sold a total of 56,493 shares of the stock at prices that fell between $70.01 and $70.10. The total for the trade came in at $3,958,809. The company manufacturers vehicle components; and provides electrical and electronic, powertrain, and safety technology solutions to the automotive and commercial vehicle markets worldwide. The stock closed Friday at $70.71.

Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) had a very well known investor selling shares last week. John Muse, who was once the partner of Tom Hicks at Hicks-Muse, is a director at the company, and he sold a total of 521,450 shares of the stocks at prices that ranged from $17.55 to $17.56. The total for the sale was posted at $9,152,754. Media General, Inc. owns and operates television stations in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Broadcast and Digital. It owns and operates 71 network-affiliated stations, and their associated digital media and mobile platforms in 48 markets. The shares closed Friday at $17.48.

Stryker Corporation (NYSE: SYK) had a director at the company with her name on the door selling shares last week. Ronda Stryker sold a total of 12,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $116.87 to $117.63. The total for the sale was reported at $$1,406,817. The company together with its subsidiaries, operates as a medical technology company. It operates through three segments: Orthopaedics; MedSurg; and Neurotechnology and Spine. Shares closed Friday at $118.38.

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These other companies also reported insider selling last week:

  • Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRUS),
  • Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: OXY),
  • and Range Resources Corporation (NYSE: RRC).

With the market at almost all-time highs before plunging as a result of the Brexit vote, insider selling swamped buying last week, and the imbalance should be no surprise. It should be noted that when the market took a big tumble to start 2016, insider buying was decidedly much higher than selling.