Arena chief's stock sale invites criticism

|About: Arena Pharmaceuticals,... (ARNA)|By:, SA News Editor

The legitimacy of any rosy pronouncements about Belviq's prospects by Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA -8.4%) CEO Jack Lief has been tarnished a bit with the disclosure of his disposal of a large portion of his holdings of ARNA stock. Mr. Lief felt compelled to unload almost 40% of his stake. Such a large transaction undermines the credibility of "asset diversification" and can only be construed as bearish behavior by the most significant company insider.

The ramp-up of Belviq sales has been underwhelming to most observers. Last quarter's sales were a modest $2.9M compared to Q2 2013's debut of $1.3M.

ARNA's stock is down 60% from its late June 2012 peak of $13.50. 208 mutual funds have positions, down from 210 a year earlier.

Consensus views remain bullish, however. Revenue estimates for Q2 and Q3 are $9.8M and $12.1M, respectively. Estimates for 2014 and 2015 are $43.8M and $85.7M, respectively.

The company should report Q2 results in mid-to-late August.