The 5 Stocks Most Sold By Insiders This Year

Insider Trades

Insider selling is often a sign of doom, but that is not always true. In some cases, insiders see an opportunity to make some profits and great minds usually think alike. Let's take a look at the five stocks most sold by insiders so far this year and the forces behind the moves.

5. Marriott International Insider Selling Spikes in Q1

Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) insiders have only sold in recent years, but the activity ramped higher in 2023 and spiked in Q1 2024. The selling is noteworthy because nine insiders made 10 sales to rank the stock in 5th place in this listing. Sales are also notable because of the ownership and breadth of sellers, which include the chairman and family-linked owner, David S. Marriott. Other sellers include several directors, the CEO, a CFO, a President and an EVP. Together, they sold $30 million in shares or a small fraction of 1% of the company.

Marriott Insiders may continue to sell because they own 10% of the stock, and the share price is rallying to new highs. The share price may continue to rise because the outlook for industry growth is positive and for business to be robust. Earnings growth is expected to outpace the top line and sustain the healthy dividend. Analysts rate the stock a Hold, and the price target lags the market, but upward revisions drive it higher. The consensus is up 30% compared to last year, with all fresh targets above it. The most recent is coverage initiated by Mizuho at $260; the high price target is $280.

Chart showing where Marriott insiders sell into the rally.

4. Edwards Lifesciences in Rebound Mode

Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW) is in rebound mode, but the market may become capped by insider selling. Numerous insiders are selling at the rally, putting the tally at 15 sales by 10 executives. However, the growth outlook is good and may lead the market higher. Analysts rate the stock a Moderate Buy and lead the market with price target revisions. The consensus assumes fair value near current levels, but the freshest targets put the market at around $100. The catalyst could come later this month when the company reports earnings. The analysts have lowered the bar, expecting growth to slow into the single digits. 

Chart showing where Edwards Lifesciences sell into the rally.

3. Clinical Win for Neurocrine Biosciences

Insiders at Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ: NBIX) are enjoying some well-earned success after the launch of its product, Crinecerfront. The company's revenue surged to high-double-digit growth, leading 10 insiders to make 23 sales YTD. Growth is expected to slow but could be reinvigorated later this year. The company's pipeline includes numerous phase-II trials that could produce positive results this year. 23 analysts rate this stock a Moderate Buy and see it fairly valued near $143. However, the recent revisions are leading the market higher and see another 10% to 15% upside. This company reports in early May and has a lowered bar to clear. 

Chart showing where Neurocrine Biosciences insiders sell into the rally.

2. Apellis Pharmaceuticals in Hyper-Growth Phase

Apellis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: APLS) launched its business into quadruple-digit growth with its flagship products, which accelerated to 500% in the last report. Insiders have sold steadily over the previous 12 months, with activity spiking in Q1 coincident with a peak in price action. Growth is expected to slow this year but hold in the triple-digits before falling to the double-digits in 2025. 10 insiders made 25 sales so far this year; insiders still own 7.5% of the business. The analysts are bullish and rate it a Moderate Buy. They view it as undervalued, trading below the low end of their range, and see it advancing 50% at their consensus estimate of $78.60. 

Chart showing where insider selling helps cap gains for Apellis Pharmaceuticals.

1. Altair: the Top Stock Sold by Insiders  

AltairEngineerings (NASDAQ: ALTR), a cloud-based AI-powered simulation platform, performs well, as seen in its share price. The insiders continue to sell, taking advantage of the stock price rally, and have made enough trades to be #1 on this list. 13 insiders made 27 trades, leaving their holding at roughly 22% of the stock. Major shareholders/early investors made many trades, taking profits as share prices advanced. Analysts rate Altair as a Moderate Buy with an 8% upside at the consensus. Consensus is led higher by revisions. 

Chart showing where Altair insiders sell into the rally.

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