Target Insiders Sell Millions in Stock as Shares Rise
Retail giant Target's (NYSE: TGT) CEO Gregg Steinhafel and four other Target executives sold $13 million of stock between June 5 and 21, as shares rallied to a multi-year high.
According to Barron's, Steinhafel sold roughly 75,800 shares on June 15 for approximately $4.5 million. He still holds 269,093 shares directly and 368,301 shares indirectly.
He is not the only one. On June 11, the day that shares shot up to an intraday high of $59.40, executive vice president Timothy Baer sold roughly 34,900 shares for $2.1 million. Six days earlier, executive vice president of stores Tina Schiel sold 15,000 shares for $860,200.
Schiel was followed on June 8 by director Roxanne Austin, who sold 16,800 shares for $989,900. Executive vice president John Griffith was the last to exercise options, selling shares in three chunks. On June 18, he sold 32,027 shares for $1.9 million. On June 20, he sold 15,400 shares for $900,412, and then on June 21 he sold 32,415 shares for $1,889,922. Griffith now has a stake of less that 1 percent.
While InsiderInsights' Jonathan Moreland told Barron's that he would not go so far as to call this a red flag, the sheer volume of shares sold over a short period of time may have at least rattled some alarm bells.
The spread of dates is interesting, with Schiel and Austin both selling their shares prior to the June 11 high. Further, no sales occurred on the same day.
Since June 21, the day of the final Griffith sale, Target has fallen to below $57. However, the price did not start to rise until June 8, so Schiel's sale proved ill-timed.
Two days after the June 11 high, Target boosted its quarterly dividend by 20 percent to 36 cents per share following CFO John Mulligan's proclamation in March that Target was generating "far more cash than we need to fund appropriate reinvestment in our core businesses."
On Thursday, Target traded at about $57.30, down roughly 0.3 percent.
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