Data Tracker Says These Insiders Are Cashing Out in 2011

Paul Tharp of the New York Post reports today that in recent months corporate insiders have been doing much more selling than buying, a potentially ominous sign for an already fragile economic recovery. The column in the Post cites data from “The Washington Service” a firm that tracks data recorded from legal insider trading, showing that industry leaders have been dumping their corporate stock holdings at a fast pace this year. Leading the way in insider cash-outs seems to be the tech sector, (NYSE:XLK) with top ranking officials such as Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bill Gates offloading sizable portions of their ownership.

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According to a June SEC filing, Gates sold $1.06 billion worth of his Microsoft holdings, and plans to offload the majority of his remaining $15 billion worth incrementally over the coming years. Also dumping loads of shares in recent months were Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who sold $331 and $285.4 million in shares respectively last quarter. The move should not be viewed as cause for concern among Google enthusiasts, as both still own over $14 billion worth of company stock.

Outside the tech sector, media tycoon John Malone banked $83.5 million from his sale of shares in Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA), while in finance Glenn Hut made $267.7 million dumping holdings of Silverlake Financial.

Not all corporate big-wigs were sellers in the first half of 2011, with Dell’s (NASDAQ:DELL) own Michael Dell buying over $150 million new shares of his company, which have since netted him a $32.million dollar gain.