GenMark Diagnostics: 3 Different Insiders Have Sold Shares This Year

Jan.22.14 | About: GenMark Diagnostics, (GNMK)

In this article, I will feature one healthcare stock that has seen intensive insider selling during the last 30 days. 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%.

GenMark Diagnostics (NASDAQ:GNMK) engages in the development, manufacturing, marketing, sale, and support of instruments and molecular tests based on its proprietary eSensor detection technology in the United States.

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Insider selling during the last 30 days

Here is a table of GenMark's insider-trading activity during the last 30 days by insider.

Name Title Trade Date Shares Sold Rule 10b5-1 Current Ownership Decrease In Ownership
Michael Gleeson SVP Jan 15 20,000 Yes 165,587 shares 10.8%
Jon Kayyem SVP Jan 2-16 156,000 Yes 838,048 shares 15.7%
Jennifer Williams SVP Jan 13 25,000 Yes 203,663 shares 10.9%
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There have been 201,000 shares sold by insiders during the last 30 days. All these shares were sold pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 plan.

SEC Rule 10b5-1 is a regulation enacted by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2000. The SEC states that Rule 10b5-1 was enacted in order to resolve an unsettled issue over the definition of insider trading, which is prohibited by SEC Rule 10b-5. After Rule 10b5-1 was enacted, the SEC staff publicly took the position that canceling a planned trade made under the safe harbor does not constitute insider trading, even if the person was aware of the inside information when canceling the trade. This staff interpretation raises the possibility that executives can exploit this safe harbor by entering into 10b5-1 trading plans before they have inside information while retaining the option to later cancel those plans based on inside information.

For example, a CEO of a company could call a broker on January 1 and enter into a plan to sell a particular quantity of shares of his company's stock on March 1, find out terrible news about his company on February 1 that will not become public until April 1, and then go forward with the March 1 sale anyway, saving himself from losing money when the bad news becomes public. Under the terms of Rule 10b5-1(b) this is insider trading because the CEO "was aware" of the inside information when he made the trade. But he can assert an affirmative defense under Rule 10b5-1(c), because he planned the trade before he learned the inside information.

In general, it is a safer way for an insider to sell shares pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan than without it.

Insider selling by calendar month

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

Month Insider selling / shares Insider buying / shares
January 2014 201,000 0
December 2013 0 0
November 2013 0 0
October 2013 6,000 0
September 2013 0 0
August 2013 0 0
July 2013 6,000 0
June 2013 0 0
May 2013 0 0
April 2013 6,000 0
March 2013 97,253 0
February 2013 0 0
January 2013 0 0
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There have been 316,253 shares sold, and there have been zero shares purchased by insiders since January 2013. The month of January 2014 has seen the most insider selling.


GenMark reported the third-quarter financial results on November 12 with the following highlights:

Revenue $4.6 million
Net loss $10.8 million
Cash $112.5 million
Debt $160,000
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GenMark's 2013 revenue guidance is $27 million.

Richard Slansky, Chief Financial Officer of GenMark, commented on November 12:

"Based on prolonged reimbursement challenges and the recently published CMS rates for the new pharmacogenetics or PGX test codes, we expect emerging PGX sector to experience additional downward pressure in the near term. Primarily, as a result of these changes, we are adjusting our 2013 revenue guidance to approximately $27 million and now expect more modest PGX purchasing patterns in 2014."


GenMark's competitors include Cepheid (NASDAQ:CPHD), Hologic (NASDAQ:HOLX), and Nanosphere (NASDAQ:NSPH). Here is a table comparing these companies.

Market Cap: 577.84M 3.28B 6.17B 159.24M
Employees: 130 945 5,615 151
Qtrly Rev Growth (yoy): -0.12 0.24 0.05 1.74
Revenue: 30.40M 380.46M 2.48B 8.16M
Gross Margin: 0.45 0.50 0.62 0.67
EBITDA: -24.01M 22.33M 842.55M -30.62M
Operating Margin: -0.86 0.00 0.13 -4.03
Net Income: -27.70M -2.00M -1.17B -33.43M
EPS: -0.84 -0.03 -4.37 -0.58
P/E: N/A N/A N/A N/A
PEG (5 yr expected): -0.52 -14.65 2.00 -0.25
P/S: 19.17 8.81 2.49 20.78
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GenMark has the second-highest P/S ratio among these four companies.

Here is a table of these competitors' insider-trading activities during the last 12 months.

Company Insider buying / shares Insider selling / shares
CPHD 0 438,550


NSPH 70,000 0
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Only GenMark has seen intensive insider selling during the last 30 days.


There have been three different insiders selling GenMark, and there have not been any insiders buying GenMark during the last 30 days. All three of these insiders decreased their holdings by more than 10%. GenMark has an insider ownership of 2.20%.

Before going short GenMark, I would like to get a bearish confirmation from the Point and Figure chart. The two main reasons for the proposed short entry are weak revenue guidance, and the intensive insider-selling activity.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.