This is Exactly Why 2 Key AAPL Officers Sold Their Majority of Holdings for $583 in Nov 2012
As a retired CEO of a Nasdaq company, I read this differently. For executive officers of a public company to sell stock more than mid-way into a fiscal quarter, not pursuant to a pre-arranged plan, exposes them to significant risk of insider trading accusations, if they report a bad quarter and the stock declines. The expectation would be that they should have known how the quarter was shaping up by November 20th. Now, maybe these guys just live on the edge, but I believe their stock sales actually support the idea that they (as of November 20th anyway) were having a very solid quarter with no expectation of that changing by quarter end.
All quality perspectives. They are definitely selling within the well-established safe harbor period as long as they do not believe negative information is coming. Moreover, these gentlemen have substantial unexercised option positions as well as restricted shares. They will continue to harvest tax advantaged gains throughout their careers... and would have left the company for other pastures to the extent they thought it was over at AAPL.
Remember, two weeks ago Cook gave EVERYONE a "preannouncement" on coming news: "I wouldn't bet against AAPL."