Insiders bought and sold $610 million of stock in the technology sector, accounting for 36.0% of the total of $1.70 billion worth of stocks traded (including $1.52 billion sold and $0.18 billion bought) via almost 1,800 separate insider transactions last week. We culled through those 1,800 or so insider buys and sells in over 850 different companies (based on last week’s SEC Forms 3, 4, and 5 filings), as part of our weekly coverage of insider trades, and present here the most notable trades in the technology sector last week:
Apple Inc. (AAPL): AAPL is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of personal computers, mobile communication devices, and portable digital music players. Insiders currently hold 6.7 million shares or 0.8% of outstanding shares, and during the last week, Director Robert (Bob) Iger, also the CEO of Walt Disney Company (DIS), bought 2,670 shares of AAPL for $1.0 million, and ended the week with 1,370 shares. This is significant given that it is the first insider purchase at AAPL since October 2007, and the shares sold are a significant component of Mr. Iger’s AAPL holdings. Besides Mr. Iger’s purchase, Sr. VP Jeffrey Williams sold 3,000 shares, but that is not significant given that over the last three months, insiders sold 63,497 shares of AAPL.
Triquint Semiconductor (TQNT): TQNT manufactures a broad range of high-performance RF, analog and mixed-signal ICs that are incorporated into a variety of communications products, including cellular phones and pagers, fiber optic telecommunications equipment, satellite communications systems, high performance data networking products and aerospace applications. Insiders currently hold 1.2 million shares or 0.8% of outstanding shares. During the last week, two directors bought a total of 102,500 shares. This is in addition to the 15,000 shares that we reported insiders bought just last week, and another 15,500 insiders bought in the two weeks prior to that, and represents a strong pick-up in insider buying as insiders bought only an additional 5,000 shares during the remainder of the year. TQNT shares have been very weak this year, falling almost three-quarters since the peak in February, so the pickup in insider buying as the stock moves lower is a sign of confidence in the outlook for the company.
Fusion-IO Inc. (FIO): FIO is engaged in the development, marketing and sale of storage memory platform for data centralization in the U.S. Its platforms enhance the processing capabilities within a datacenter by relocating process-critical or active data from centralized storage to the server where it is being processed. Insiders currently hold 43.1 million or 55.4% of outstanding shares. During the last week, seven corporate insiders (including the CEO, CFO, COO, CTO, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Legal Officer, and an EVP) exercised their options and sold a total of 2.0 million shares for $63 million, and institutional insider NEA 12 Group sold 1.3 million shares for $104 million. FIO just announced an 8.8 million follow-on public offering on November 21st, including 5.8 million shares sold by selling stockholders.
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ): HPQ is currently a provider of IT and outsourcing services, PCs and peripherals, printers and scanners, and servers and storage devices. Insiders currently hold 3.1 million or 0.1% of outstanding shares. During the last week, EVP Vyomesh Joshi and SVP James Murrin both exercised their options and sold the resulting 200,000 and 30,000 respectively (under 10b5-1 plans), ending the week with 11,276 and 93,535 shares respectively. This is significant given the size of the sales, the fact that multiple insiders sold a significant portion of their holdings, and as it represents a pick-up in insider selling given that this is the only insider sale in the last three months.
Universal Display Corp. (PANL): PANL is a designer of organic light emitting diode devices for flat panel displays used in the consumer electronics market. Insiders currently hold 2.8 million shares or 6.1% of outstanding shares. On Monday last week, hedge fund Discovery Capital Management, headed by Tiger Cub (of Julian Robertson fame) Robert Citrone, also 10% beneficial of the company, filed that they added another 200,000 shares to their holdings on top of the total of 450,000 that we reported they bought three and four weeks ago. Overall, insiders bought 650,000 shares in November, and the last time they bought PANL prior to that was in May of 2010.
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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.