We were bound to see it, and it probably continues all through August. Insider selling continued to mount as the markets hit all-time highs and as windows at companies once again come open for executives and institutional holders to sell shares. While this might seem like a concern, it really comes as no surprise given the current state of the markets. The real concern would lie in insiders selling stock in companies already beaten down in price, which we currently are not seeing.
We cover insider selling each week at 24/7 Wall St., and again 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 often sell just to diversify or purchase other assets.
Here are companies that reported notable insider selling last week.
GrubHub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB) had a huge insider sale this past week. A director parted with a total of 1,968,007 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $38.81 to $38.87. The total for this huge liquidation was a stunning $77 million. GrubHub provides an online and mobile platform for restaurant pickup and delivery orders in the United States. It connects approximately 40,000 local restaurants with diners in approximately 1,000 cities. The stock closed Friday at $38.76.
Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CPS) also had a big seller last week. Oak Hill Capital, a 10% owner, sold 715,472 shares at $87 apiece. The total for the trade was posted at $62 million. The company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cooper-Standard Automotive, designs, manufactures and sells sealing, fuel and brake delivery, fluid transfer and anti-vibration systems. Its shares closed the day on Friday at $90.48, so it looks like some money was left on the table.
AON PLC (NYSE: AON) saw a unit CEO selling stock last week. That executive shed a total of 46,698 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $107.78 to $108.70. The total for this sale came in at $5 million. Aon provides risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource consulting and outsourcing services worldwide. The stock closed trading Friday at $110.65, so here too it would appear some money was left on the table.
Knight Transportation Inc. (NYSE: KNX) had the executive chairman at the company giving up shares last week. Kevin Knight sold a block of 500,000 shares at prices that fell between $28.72 and $29.88. That netted him some $15 million. The company operates as a short-to-medium haul truckload carrier of general commodities, primarily in the United States. Its stock ended the week at $29.55 per share.
Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) had a senior vice president at the media giant selling some stock last week. That executive parted with a total of 29,475 shares of the company at $67.86 apiece. The total for the sale came in at $2 million. Comcast’s Xfinity crushed the competition in a recent speed test, and its shares closed the day on Friday at $67.75.
These companies also reported insider selling last week: Chemed Corp (NYSE: CHE), Commerce Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH), Dover Corp. (NYSE: DOV), ManPowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN) and Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP).
Again, it comes as no surprise to see selling at current market levels, and we expect the pace to continue through the rest of the summer and into the fall. As always, we keep a close eye out for sellers in distressed companies, as that never tends to bode well for shareholders.
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