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Are Insiders Foreseeing Bad Times Ahead For Palo Alto Networks Inc. (PANW) and Two Other Companies?

Village Super Market Inc. (NASDAQ:VLGEA) also witnessed some insider selling last week. Director David C. Judge unloaded 1,000 Class A shares on Wednesday at $24.15 apiece, trimming his stake to 7,700 shares. John P. Sumas, Executive Vice President, sold 4,000 Class A units of common stock on the same day for $24.15 each. Following the recent sale, Mr. Sumas currently holds an ownership stake of 355,195 shares.

Village Super Market operates a chain of 29 ShopRite supermarkets in New Jersey, Maryland and northeastern Pennsylvania. What’s more, the company represents the second-largest affiliate in the retailer-owned food cooperative and owner of the ShopRite name, called Wakefern Food Corporation. Village Super Market’s sales for the first half of fiscal 2016 that ended January 23 totaled $809.70 million, which increased 2.4% year-on-year. The company’s same-store sales increased 2.4% as a result of higher sales in the last week of the second quarter due to preparations for Winter Storm Jonas, as well as due to the closing of two competing stores and sustained sales growth in the certain stores. The increase was partly offset by the openings of six competitors’ stores and deflation in the meat, seafood and dairy departments. Meanwhile, net income for the first six months of fiscal 2016 totaled $10.71 million, which increased from $10.48 million reported for the same period of the previous year. However, adjusted net income decreased by 15% year-on-year due to lower gross profit margins and higher operating and administrative expenses.

The management of Village Super Market anticipates same-store sales to grow in the range of 0.5%-to-1.5% in fiscal 2016. Considering that the shares of the chain operator are down 27% in the past 12 months and down nearly 9% year-to-date, the recent insider selling at the company might serve as reason for concern within the investment community. A mere five hedge funds from our system had stakes in the company at the end of 2015, accumulating approximately 12% of its outstanding shares. Royce & Associates, founded by Chuck Royce, owns 1.26 million shares of Village Super Market Inc. (NASDAQ:VLGEA) as of December 31.

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