While the end of the trading week was an up-and-down ride, once again the stock market hit new all-time highs as investors rushed in to buy shares. While the Trump rally has had an exceptional run since the election, it looks to be extended and getting a little tired. One thing is becoming evident, insiders are selling gigantic amounts of stock each and every week, and as long as we stay at these lofty levels, that probably will continue.
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 this past week.
The richest family in America is the Walton family, heirs of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) back in the 1960s. This past week the family trust and an individual sold massive amounts of the stock bearing their name. Robson Walton parted with a total of 6,439,502 shares of the iconic retailer at share prices between $70.44 and $72.79. The total for the sales was a stunning $470 million. Meanwhile, the Walton Family Trust sold a total of 4.4 million shares for a total value of $314 million. Shares closed last Friday at $70.03. The 52-week trading range for the stock is $62.72 to $75.19, and the consensus price target on Wall Street is $74.94.
Another huge American success story, Apple Inc. (AAPL) also had a big seller this past week. A director at the technology giant shed a total of 215,000 shares of the stock with a total value of $29.5 million. However, the $136.72 per share sale price compares with Friday's close at $139.78. The 52-week range for the stock is $89.47 to $140.48, and the consensus price target is $142.48.
Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W) is another company that had a board member selling last week. That director parted with a total of 498,682 shares of the e-commerce giant at prices between $37.78 and $38.32. The total or the sale was set at $19 million. The shares closed last Friday at $36.37, so it appears to be a well-timed sale. The 52-week trading range is $27.60 to $49.34. The consensus price objective is $41.93.
At Tyler Technologies Inc. (TYL) yet another director was busy selling stock. The 39,234 shares of the integrated information management solutions provider went at prices that ranged from $155.00 to $156.65 per share. The total for the sale was set at $6 million. The stock closed Friday at $152.87, in a 52-week range of $118.16 to $175.17. The posted consensus price target is $180.09.
The top man at Equifax Inc. (EFX) sold a big chunk of stock last week. CEO Richard Smith parted ways with 74,346 shares at prices that fell between $130.74 and $131.40. The total for the trade was set at $10 million. The stock ended the week at $132.80. The 52-week range for the shares is $104.66 to $139.67, and the consensus price objective is $140.50.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, the volume and total dollars of insider selling continues to swamp that of the insider buying, and it looks to remain that way. While not alarming in regards to the companies involved, it could be a sign that the market is topping and a correction is close