Insiders appear to be hedging their bets at Molina Healthcare Inc. (MOH) , where a group of eight recently sold almost one million shares or about 3% of the company.
The sales draw attention as activist Jana Partners, run by investor Barry Rosenstein, own just under 4% of the outstanding shares.
Company officers and directors are insiders for SEC filing purposes. Investors owning 10% or more of a company are also insiders under the law.
Stock watchers keep an eye on the transactions for the insiders' sentiment about their firm. Large insider selling is sometimes a negative indicator; however many executives sell stock on a fixed schedule to manage their investments.
Last May, the company announced that it parted ways with its CEO J. Mario Molina and CFO John Molina after the firm's recent "disappointing financial performance." "The board has determined to change leadership in order to drive profitability through operational improvements," Molina Chairman Dale B. Wolf said at the time.
In November, former Aetna Inc. (AET) executive Joseph Zubretsky took the helm of managed health care services provider Molina and according to one Wall Street analyst, his hiring supports the view that Molina could be a takeover target in the future.
Meanwhile, Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (ZAYO) CEO Daniel Caruso this week made his largest company share sale yet, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Monday, Jan. 8, that revealed disposal of almost 3% of his stake, or just more than 300,000 shares.
Caruso, who co-founded Level 3 Communications Inc. in 1997, has been selling shares for some time, but this is his most significant sale to date.
According to an SEC filing, Caruso and entities he controls sold 304,260 shares at $36.07. In all of 2017, Caruso sold about 17% of his Zayo stake, or nearly 1.2 million shares.
Prominent activist investors flocked to the stock in 2017. Barry Rosenstein's Jana Partners LLC held 1.15% at the end of the second quarter, according to FactSet. Keith Meister's Corvex Management LP and FrontFour Capital Group LLC held 0.93% and 0.04%, respectively.
Dan Leob's Third Point LLC held a stake earlier this year but exited according to Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
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