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There was intensive insider selling in Ixia (NASDAQ:XXIA) in March, when the stock was trading above $20. The stock is currently trading at $14.78 or 34.3% below the March all-time high.

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With this episode in mind, I screened for stocks that have seen recent intensive insider selling. Intensive insider selling can be defined by the following three criteria:

  1. The stock was sold by three or more insiders within one month.
  2. The stock was not purchased by any insiders in the month of intensive selling.
  3. At least two sellers decreased their holdings by more than 10%.

In this article, I will feature three stocks that met these three criteria of intensive insider selling in the last 30 days.

1. Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) provides low-fare airline services.

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Insider selling by insider (last 30 days)

  • Ben Baldanza sold 60,000 shares on April 12 - May 1, pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. Ben Baldanza currently holds 151,351 shares or 0.2% of the company. Ben Baldanza is President, Chief Executive Officer and Class II Director.
  • Barry Biffle sold 10,000 shares on May 1, pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. Barry Biffle currently controls 61,638 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. Barry Biffle has served as Chief Marketing Officer since February 2005.
  • Thomas Canfield sold 10,000 shares on April 5, pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. Thomas Canfield currently holds 47,694 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. Thomas Canfield has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary since joining Spirit in October 2007.

Insider selling by calendar month

Here is a table of Spirit's insider trading activity by calendar month.

MonthInsider selling / sharesInsider buying / shares
May 201358,0000
April 201351,0000
March 2013106,3020
February 201310,0000
January 201312,0000

There have been 237,302 shares sold and zero shares purchased this year.

Financials

The company reported the first-quarter financial results on April 30, with the following highlights:

Revenue$370.4 million
Net income$30.6 million
Cash$483.5 million

Competition

Spirit's competitors include AMR Corporation (AAMRQ.PK) and JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU). Here is a table comparing these companies.

CompanySAVEAAMRQJBLUIndustry Average (Major Airlines)
Market Cap:2.01B1.45B1.93B24.18B
Employees:3,03377,75012,38559.33K
Qtrly Rev Growth (yoy):0.230.010.080.00
Revenue:1.39B24.92B5.08B3.98B
Gross Margin:0.280.230.270.23
EBITDA:201.15M1.65B600.25M429.00M
Operating Margin:0.130.030.060.04
Net Income:115.60M-557.00M112.00MN/A
EPS:1.59-1.670.360.06
P/E:17.43N/A18.98969.33
PEG (5 yr expected):0.590.590.480.40
P/S:1.440.060.375.13

Spirit is trading at a higher P/S ratio than its direct competitors.

My analysis

There have been four insider sell transactions and there have not been any insider buy transactions during the last 30 days. The stock is trading at a P/E ratio of 17.43 and a forward P/E ratio of 11.18. The company has a book value of $8.22 per share. Before entering short this stock, I would like to get a bearish confirmation from the Point and Figure chart. The main reason for the proposed short entry is the intensive insider selling activity.

2. The Greenbrier Companies (NYSE:GBX) engages in the design, manufacture, and marketing of railroad freight car equipment in North America and Europe.

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Insider selling by insider (last 30 days)

  • James Sharp sold 7,691 shares on April 5 - May 3, and currently holds 31,030 shares or 0.1% of the company. James Sharp is President, Greenbrier Leasing Corporation.
  • Mark Rittenbaum sold 5,000 shares on April 30, and currently holds 129,900 shares or 0.5% of the company. Mark Rittenbaum is Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer.
  • Martin Baker sold 8,000 shares on April 25, and currently holds 32,750 shares or 0.1% of the company. Martin Baker is Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer.
  • Alejandro Centurion sold 8,500 shares on April 5-25, and currently holds 55,560 shares or 0.2% of the company. Alejandro Centurion is President, North American Manufacturing Operations.
  • Maren Malik sold 5,370 shares on April 5-23, and currently holds 18,158 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. Maren Malik is Vice President, Administration.
  • Victoria McManus sold 13,973 shares on April 22, and currently holds 61,206 shares or 0.2% of the company. Victoria McManus serves as a director of the company.
  • Timothy Stuckey sold 1,071 shares on April 22 and currently holds 43,678 shares or 0.2% of the company. Timothy Stuckey is President, Greenbrier Rail Services.
  • Anne Manning sold 650 shares on April 5-8, and currently holds 22,833 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. Anne Manning is Vice President, Corporate Controller.

Insider selling by calendar month

Here is a table of Greenbrier's insider trading activity by calendar month.

MonthInsider selling / sharesInsider buying / shares
May 20136,0000
April 201350,5170
March 201300
February 201300
January 201300

There have been 56,517 shares sold and zero shares purchased this year.

Financials

The company reported the fiscal 2013 second-quarter, which ended February 28, financial results on April 4, with the following highlights:

Revenue$423.2 million
Net income$13.8 million
Cash$55.6 million
Debt$477.6 million
Outlook

Based on current business trends and industry forecasts, management currently anticipates the company's new rail car deliveries in 2013 to be about 13,000 units. Management anticipates that fiscal 2013 revenue, adjusted EBITDA and earnings per share will be similar to fiscal 2012, with the second half of the year being stronger than the first half of the year.

Competition

Greenbrier's competitors include GATX Corp. (NYSE:GMT) and Trinity Industries (NYSE:TRN). Here is a table comparing these companies.

CompanyGBXGMTTRNIndustry Average (Railroads)
Market Cap:606.21M2.40B3.26B24.52B
Employees:7,3962,04615,49030.94K
Qtrly Rev Growth (yoy):-0.08-0.040.040.08
Revenue:1.79B1.26B3.85B5.93B
Gross Margin:0.120.530.220.36
EBITDA:148.55M490.45M790.50M1.91B
Operating Margin:0.060.190.150.24
Net Income:50.79M134.10M264.50MN/A
EPS:1.672.813.533.28
P/E:13.3818.2011.6839.55
PEG (5 yr expected):1.031.041.021.09
P/S:0.331.860.843.72

Greenbrier is trading below the industry average P/S ratio.

My analysis

There have been 20 insider sell transactions and there have not been any insider buy transactions during the last 30 days. The stock is trading at a P/E ratio of 13.38 and a forward P/E ratio of 8.84. The company has a book value of $16.93 per share. Before entering short this stock, I would like to get a bearish confirmation from the Point and Figure chart. The main reason for the proposed short entry is the intensive insider selling activity.

3. Nielsen Holdings (NYSE:NLSN), an information and measurement company, provides media and marketing information, analytics, and industry expertise about what consumers buy and watch on a global and local basis.

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Insider selling by insider (last 30 days)

  • Susan Whiting sold 15,000 shares on May 1, pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. Susan Whiting currently holds 99,046 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. Susan Whiting is Vice Chair of Nielsen.
  • David Calhoun sold 333,334 shares on April 29 - May 1, pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. David Calhoun currently holds 765,910 shares or 0.2% of the company. David Calhoun is Chief Executive Officer of Nielsen.
  • Brian West sold 7,370 shares on April 25, pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. Brian West currently holds 105,913 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. Brian West serves as Chief Financial Officer for Nielsen.
  • Stephen Hasker sold 12,338 shares on May 1, pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. Stephen Hasker currently holds 28,569 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. Stephen Hasker is President, Global Product Leadership.
  • Mitchell Habib sold 20,039 shares on May 1, pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. Mitchell Habib currently holds 33,819 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. Mitchell Habib serves as Chief Operating Officer for Nielsen.
  • Itzhak Fisher sold 30,876 shares on April 15, pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. Itzhak Fisher currently controls 78,046 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. Itzhak Fisher serves as Executive Vice President, Global Business Development for Nielsen.
  • James Cuminale sold 25,000 shares on April 15, pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. James Cuminale currently holds 165,406 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. James Cuminale serves as Chief Legal Officer of Nielsen.

Insider selling by calendar month

Here is a table of Nielsen's insider trading activity by calendar month.

MonthInsider selling / sharesInsider buying / shares
May 201347,3770
April 2013772,3730
March 2013272,3250
February 201340,803,1980
January 201300

There have been 41,895,273 shares sold and zero shares purchased this year.

Financials

The company reported the first-quarter financial results on April 25, with the following highlights:

Revenue$1.4 billion
Net income$35 million
Cash$233 million
Debt$6.3 billion

Outlook

The company's outlook for 2013 is as follows:

  • Revenue growth 4.0% -5.0%.
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin growth 40 to 60 bps.
  • Adjusted net income growth 15-19%.
  • Reported Adj. net income per share at current rates: $2.13 - $2.19.

Competition

Here is a table comparing Nielsen against the Information & Delivery Services industry.

CompanyNLSNIndustry Average (Information & Delivery Services)
Market Cap:13.36B3.09B
Employees:35,0004.60K
Qtrly Rev Growth (yoy):0.030.25
Revenue:5.65B834.14M
Gross Margin:0.590.65
EBITDA:1.56B317.16M
Operating Margin:0.190.11
Net Income:284.00MN/A
EPS:0.780.84
P/E:45.9927.62
PEG (5 yr expected):1.111.36
P/S:2.362.36

Nielsen's P/S ratio is in line with the industry average.

My analysis

There have been seven insider sell transactions and there have not been any insider buy transactions during the last 30 days. The stock is trading at a P/E ratio of 45.99 and a forward P/E ratio of 14.91. The company has a book value of $13.86 per share and the stock has a dividend yield of 1.80%. Before entering short this stock, I would like to get a bearish confirmation from the Point and Figure chart. The main reason for the proposed short entry is the intensive insider selling activity.

Source: 1 Airline, 1 Railroad And 1 Tech Stock With Recent Intensive Insider Selling