There is an expression from back in the day that goes “I am getting out while the gettin’ is good,” and that is exactly what numerous insiders looking to sell shares did this past week. Combine that with the fact that insider sales windows are closing fast as third-quarter earnings are imminent, and it’s pretty easy to understand the spike in selling volume we saw this past week.
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 portfolios or purchase other assets.
Here are companies that reported notable insider selling last week.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was the insider selling leader for last week as a director at the company, Jan Koum, sold a gigantic block of the social media giant’s shares. Koum is an internet entrepreneur and computer programmer. He is the CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp, a mobile messaging application that was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for $19 Billion.
Koum sold 566,668 shares of the stock at a share price of $128.36. The total for the sale was posted at a huge $72,737,250. Facebook shares closed Friday at $128.27, so the timing could not have been better.
The man at the top at Copart Inc. (NASDAQ: CPRT) parted with some shares last week. Jayson Adair, who is the chief executive and president of the online auctions and vehicle remarketing company, sold some 200,000 shares at prices that ranged from $53.12 to $53.79 apiece. The total for the sale was posted at $21 million.
Copart offers a range of services for processing and selling vehicles over the internet through its Virtual Bidding Third Generation Internet auction-style sales technology to vehicle sellers, primarily insurance companies, as well as to banks and financial institutions, charities, car dealerships, fleet operators and vehicle rental companies. Its stock closed Friday at $53.56.
A 10% owner of Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VNDA) was unloading shares last week. Deerfield Partners sold a total of 1,120,461 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $15.20 to $17.20. The total for the sale was posted at $19 million.
Vanda Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the development and commercialization of products for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. Its stock closed last Friday at $16.64.
Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) had a co-chair and director selling shares last week. The executive parted with a total of 18,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $106.99 to $107.42. The total for the sale was posted at $2 million. The stock ended the week at $108.54, so perhaps the move was made a bit too soon.
A senior vice president at tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was selling some stock last week. That executive sold 22,381 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $112.50 to $113.72. The total for the sale was posted at $3 million. Apple shares closed Friday at $113.05.
These companies also reported insider selling last week: American Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: AFG), Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI), Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: NUS) and Western Gas Partners L.P. (NYSE: WES).
Again, the selling is no surprise, especially given the end of the quarter and transaction windows closing. We will continue to monitor sales of company stock where the situation doesn’t look good, as that is never a positive.