Tech Bubble: Here's What Tech Executives Are Buying and Selling

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(List compiled by Becca Lipman. Insider data sourced from Yahoo  Finance)

While history may be doomed to repeat itself, technology companies have learned a thing or two from the tech bubble of 2001 and are in no hurry to revisit that landslide. 

Meanwhile, social media sites have exploded. Startups, marketing, and business models have shifted drastically to accommodate them and social media businesses appear to be booming, almost uncontrollably.  

If there is to be another "tech bubble" then social media companies seem the logical place for such an implosion. After all, the social media markets never learned their lesson the hard way.

An infographic from Column Five (embedded below) offers some interesting insight into this potential-social-media-bubble. It highlights, among other things, the not-too-surprising realization that today's interest in technology and internet stock is concentrated in social media, outwearing retail and commerce (their runner ups) by 15%. 

And then comes the more intriguing part: significantly increased insider selling of stock options. More specifically, ex employees, who represent 86% of stock sellers, 39% of which is thanks to Facebook's ex-employees. 

Many analysts follow insider buying trends because, after all, insiders know more about their companies than anyone else. Their investment activity is closely monitored and can tell us a lot about where they feel the business is heading.

This is none-the-more-evident with the daily-deals website and IPO hopeful, Groupon. According to the infographic, "even more so than Facebook, Groupon has seen not only its early employees cash in their stocks, but their early investors and founders. The company has been quickly losing money."

Here's the infographic. For a larger view, simply click on the image:

Cliff Kuang, editor of Co.Design, adds "I think, that Groupon's founders have been far more willing to cash out than Facebook's: The daily deal rage is a far shakier business, with huge new competitors every day. Of course you'd want to get out now."

To help you conduct your own analysis of the so called tech-boom, we list the top stocks by insider selling in the Internet information providers industry.

To show you the other side of things, we also list the names in the greater technology sector with the highest level of insider buying. Sure enough, no consumer web or social media sites made that list. See below for details.

Insiders seem doubtful/hopeful on these tech stocks - are you?

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All stocks considered have market caps above $300M. List sorted by insider buying as a percentage of share float.

1. Google Inc. (GOOG): Internet Information Providers Industry. Market cap of $182.04B. Current price at $563.77. Net insider shares sold over the last 6 months at -1,915,430, equivalent to 0.76% of the 253.29M share float. The stock has gained 15.92% over the last year.

2. Sohu.com Inc. (SOHU): Internet Information Providers Industry. Market cap of $3.08B. Current price at $80.45. Net insider shares sold over the last 6 months at -225,241, equivalent to 0.75% of the 30.09M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 9.74% over the last week.

3. Travelzoo Inc. (TZOO): Internet Information Providers Industry. Market cap of $751.73M. Current price at $45.67. Net insider shares sold over the last 6 months at -8,200, equivalent to 0.15% of the 5.54M share float. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -22.39% below its SMA20, -26.63% below its SMA50, and -16.99% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 6.34% over the last week.

4. Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO): Internet Information Providers Industry. Market cap of $17.70B. Current price at $13.59. Net insider shares sold over the last 6 months at -1,228,030, equivalent to 0.11% of the 1.14B share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 13.21% over the last week.

Technology companies with the greatest levels of insider buying:

1. Motorola Solutions, Inc. (MSI): Communication Equipment Industry. Market cap of $13.73B. Current price at $40. Net insider shares purchases over the last 6 months at 17,600,969, equivalent to 6.3% of the 279.46M share float. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -7.38% below its SMA20, -10.36% below its SMA50, and -12.56% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.06% over the last week.

2. American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC): Diversified Electronics Industry. Market cap of $353.89M. Current price at $6.98. Net insider shares purchases over the last 6 months at 1,508,478, equivalent to 3.86% of the 39.06M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 22.86% (equivalent to 6.83 days of average volume). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 13.5% over the last week. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 12.53%.

3. VMware, Inc. (VMW): Technical & System Software Industry. Market cap of $38.29B. Current price at $90.66. Net insider shares purchases over the last 6 months at 1,621,764, equivalent to 2.03% of the 80.04M share float. The stock has gained 18.7% over the last year.

4. Merge Healthcare Incorporated. (MRGE): Healthcare Information Services Industry. Market cap of $531.74M. Current price at $6.31. Net insider shares purchases over the last 6 months at 281,000, equivalent to 1.39% of the 20.16M share float. Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 15.62% above its SMA20, 19.65% above its SMA50, and 34.52% above its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 14.1% over the last week.

5. Dell Inc. (DELL): Personal Computers Industry. Market cap of $28.04B. Current price at $14.87. Net insider shares purchases over the last 6 months at 17,230,709, equivalent to 1.07% of the 1.61B share float. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 10.9%.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks


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