The Trump rally continued on full steam ahead last week, and we were not the least bit surprised to see insiders selling shares. With all the major indexes hitting record highs, the liquidity in the market robust and the end of the year closing in, top executives and institutional holders took advantage of the biggest rally in years to move some shares.
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:
Heritage Commerce Corp. (NASDAQ: HTBK) had a big seller last week. A director at the firm sold a massive 2,833,502 shares at prices that ranged from $12.25 to $12.43 a share. The total for the sale was posted at a huge $35 million. It is the bank holding company for Heritage Bank of Commerce, which provides various commercial and personal banking services to residents and the business/professional community in California. The stock closed Friday at 13.99, so more than a little left on the table.
Western Alliance Bancorp. (NYSE: WAL) is another financial company out west that saw big selling. CEO Robert Sarver sold a block of 100,000 shares at prices that ranged from $46.87 to $47.56 apiece. The total for his sale was $5 million. Also a director at the bank sold 121,000 shares at prices between $47.55 and $48.35. The total for that sale was $6 million. This bank holding company for Western Alliance Bank provides various banking products and related services primarily in Arizona, California and Nevada. Its stock closed Friday at $49.73, so again some money left on the table.
Invesco Ltd. (NYSE: IVZ) had a senior managing director parting with shares last week. That insider sold a total of 157,615 shares at prices that ranged from $31.50 to $31.77. The total for the trade was set at $5 million. This publicly owned investment manager provides its services to retail clients, institutional clients, high-net worth clients, public entities, corporations, unions, nonprofit organizations, endowments, foundations, pension funds, financial institutions and sovereign wealth funds. The stock closed on Friday at $32.79.
WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) had the chairman and a director at the company, which operates a health care website, combining to sell shares last week. The pair sold a total of 116,531 shares at between $53.24 and $53.49. The total for the combined trades was posted at $6 million. The stock closed Friday at $53.02.
Palo Alto Networks Inc.‘s (NASDAQ: PANW) chief executive officer shed some shares last week. Mark McLaughlin sold 26,566 shares at prices that ranged from $126.37 to $127.32. The total for his trade was posted at $3 million. The company provides security platform solutions to enterprises, service providers and government entities worldwide. Its shares closed Friday at $130.07.
These companies also reported insider selling this past week: Energizer Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ENR), Headwaters Inc. (NYSE: HW), Impinj Inc. (NASDAQ: PI), KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) and Stamps.com Inc. (NASDAQ: STMP).
Like the previous week, it’s not a bit surprising to see insiders take advantage of the huge rally. All the trades we saw this past week seem very orderly, and many of the companies are trading at or near 52-week highs.