Massive Energy and Tech Trades Highlight Insider Selling: Kosmos Energy, Facebook, Netflix, NVIDIA and More

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After a historic trading week, which ended on Friday with the inauguration of Donald Trump, investors are ready to focus on the rest of the month, earnings and the prospects for 2017. One thing is for sure, while the volume of insider trading has slowed due to fourth-quarter earnings being reported, we continued to see some big sales in technology.

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.

Kosmos Energy Ltd. (NYSE: KOS) had some huge sellers on the desk this week. Warburg Pincus sold a total of 38,902,874 shares at $6.65 apiece. The total for the sales was an incredible $325,204,112. In addition, a director at the company, David Krieger, sold 16,500,000 shares at $6.65. The total for his trade was posted at $109,725,000.

Kosmos explores for and produces oil and gas in Africa, Europe and South America. Its asset portfolio includes production and other development projects in offshore Ghana, as well as exploration licenses with hydrocarbon potential in offshore Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, Suriname, Morocco and Western Sahara. Its shares closed Friday at $6.51, in a 52-week trading range of $3.35 to $7.39. The consensus price target is $8.73.

A technology titan from Silicon Valley was selling Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) shares this past week. Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of the social media conglomerate, sold a total of 109,000 shares at $127.56 apiece. The total for the sale was posted at $13,904,473. The shares closed last Friday at $127.04. The 52-week range is $94.23 to $133.50, and the consensus price target is $153.57.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) had the man at the top parting with some shares last week. Founder and CEO Reed Hastings sold 86,635 shares. At $131.96 per share, the total for the trade came to $11,458,460. But the shares closed last Friday at $138.60. The consensus price target for the streaming content and entertainment giant is $144.40.

A ServiceNow Inc. (NYSE: NOW) director shed some stock last week as well. Frederic Luddy sold 154,500 shares of this enterprise cloud-based solutions provider in a share price range of $83.70 and $82.72. The total for the sale was listed at $12,815,990.

ServiceNow offers service management solutions, including incident management, problem management, change management and request management, as well as service catalog and knowledge base. It also offers information technology, human resources, customer service, security operations, facilities and field service management solutions. Shares ended trading last Friday at $83.40, in a 52-week range of $46.00 to $89.79. The consensus price target is $93.71.

The CEO and president at NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was selling shares of this red-hot chip company. Jen-Hsun Huang sold a block of 41,666 shares at a price of $102.74. The total for the sale was posted at $4,280,807. The shares closed last Friday at $104.14, so some money was left on the table. The consensus price target for the stock is just $99, and the 52-week trading range is a stunning $24.75 to $119.93.

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These companies also reported insider selling last week: Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS), Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE: CXO), Edward Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM).

The latest insider buying was more muted but included the likes of Kindred Biosciences, Mirati Therapeutics and City Office REIT.

While shareholders may be surprised to see such massive insider trades, all these tech leaders have huge numbers of shares and regularly sell some. With prices also at or near all-time highs, some selling should come as no surprise.