In a week that saw more swings than we have seen in some time, once again insiders were making transactions that may be getting done now in an effort to beat the closure of trading windows as third-quarter earnings season approaches. In addition, like two weeks ago, insider selling was light compared to the buying, but both appear to be slowing down as we head toward October.
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 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 portfolios or purchase other assets.
Here are companies that reported notable insider selling last week.
Last week a director at Acadia Healthcare Co. Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHC) unloaded a gigantic pile of its shares. The director, which was actually Waud Capital, sold a total of 1,360,977 shares of the stock at prices that fell between $48.00 and $50.19. The total for this gargantuan sale was posted at $66 million.
The company develops and operates inpatient psychiatric facilities, residential treatment centers, group homes, substance abuse facilities and outpatient behavioral health care facilities to serve the behavioral health and recovery needs of communities in the United States, the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico.
Shares of Acadia Healthcare closed Friday’s trading session at $49.54, still in the range of the director’s share purchases.
A director sold a large block of MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI) shares last week. Value Act shed a massive block of 275,000 shares of the company at prices that ranged from $85.23 to $85.66 apiece. The total for the sale came in at a whopping $19 million.
MSCI offers content, applications and services to support the needs of institutional investors in investment processes worldwide. Its shares ended last week at $86.40, so some appears to have been left on the table.
NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) has been on fire over the past year, and one of its directors took advantage by parting with 88,000 shares of the company at prices that ranged from $63.54 to $63.66. The total for the sale was posted at $6 million.
The company operates in two segments. The GPU segment offers processors, which include GeForce for PC gaming; Quadro for design professionals working in computer-aided design, video editing, special effects and other creative applications; Tesla for deep learning, accelerated computing and general purpose computing; and GRID for cloud-based streaming on gaming devices. The Tegra Processor segment provides processors that integrate a computer onto a single chip under the Tegra brand name; DRIVE automotive computers, which offer supercomputing capabilities; and tablet and portable devices for mobile gaming under the SHIELD name.
NVIDIA shares closed out Friday’s trading at $64.99. Here too some appears to have been left on the table.
Another hot tech stock that caught sellers last week was Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI). The chief operating officer and a director at the company sold a combined 104,999 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $43.60 to $43.74. The total for the trades was posted at $5 million.
The company develops and publishes online, personal computer (PC), video game console, handheld, mobile and tablet games. Its shares closed the day Friday at $44.36, so yet again some again left on the table.
Western Gas Partners
Somebody from the board of Western Gas Partners L.P. (NYSE: WES) was selling stock last week. A director at the company sold a total of 63,371 shares at prices between $50.00 and $50.23 per share. The total for the sale was posted at $3 million.
Western Gas Partners acquires, develops, owns and operates midstream energy assets in the Rocky Mountains, the Mid-Continent, North-central Pennsylvania and Texas. It is involved in gathering, processing, compressing, treating and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids and crude oil.
Shares Western Gas Partners ended trading on Friday at $51.60 apiece.
These companies also reported insider selling last week: Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR), Calavo Growers Inc. (NASDAQ: CVGW), 2U Inc. (NASDAQ: TWOU), United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI) and Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VNDA).
While volume is dropping, there is still plenty of activity by insiders. Like we have noted before, with the earnings season right around the corner, volumes could be poised to go lower.