Sheryl Sandberg Sells Facebook Shares and 2 Other Hot Stocks to Watch

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): Current price $38.49

It was not the first time that Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has sold shares in Facebook, but last week, she sold almost 2.4 million shares at an average price of $38, amounting to about $91 million, said a regulatory filing. Sandberg has no control over the specific timetable of her sales as she uses a pre-arranged trading plan, which is fairly common for top executives so as to avoid accusations of insider trading.

In 2012 alone, she sold around $50 million in the months following Facebook’s now-famous IPO in May. This latest sale came only a week after Facebook shares rose above $38 on Wednesday. Timing, whether pre-arranged or not, would seem to be everything.

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Dole Food Co. Inc. (NYSE:DOLE): Current price $13.45

On Monday, Dole Food announced that it will be taken private by Chairman and CEO David Murdock, in a transaction that values the firm at around $1.21 billion. Shareholders will receive $13.50 per share, marking a 5 percent premium to its $12.81 Friday close. This new bid by Murdock is up from the $12 per share he offered in June. Dole put the total value of the deal at about $1.6 billion, which included debt. The board unanimously okayed the offer, which must still be approved by a majority of outstanding shares held by stockholders aside from Murdock and his affiliates.

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Vical Inc. (NASDAQ:VICL): Current price $1.50

Vical said Monday that it would cease the development of the cancer therapy Allovectin, its most advanced drug, following a late-stage trial failure to show that the treatment was significantly better than chemotherapy. The 390-patient trial tested Allovectin for the treatment of advanced melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Chief Executive Vijay Samant said in a Monday statement that, “In the coming weeks, we will make the necessary changes to focus resources on our infectious disease vaccine programs and reduce expenses to conserve cash.”

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