Insider Sales: Arena Pharmaceuticals, VIVUS Inc, Amarin Corporation

There has been an interesting trend among three noteworthy pharmaceutical companies like Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA), VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) and Amarin Corporation Plc (NASDAQ:AMRN) – namely, a run of insiders selling their positions in recent weeks, just as their respective companies’ stocks began falling precipitously.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)

On the face, insider selling may not necessarily generate much buzz – it happens a lot in virtually every company that offers stock options to employees, officers or directors of the company. But we have found it interesting to note of several sales at these three companies in recent weeks, and noting how far the stocks have fallen since those transactions were made.

We’ll start with Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) and its recent insider activity. In early July, there were four insider sales transactions in a four-day span, selling 10,000 up to 95,000 shares at prices ranging from $9.95 up to as high as $11 a share in the last transaction July 5. In the past month since those transactions were completed, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) stock has dropped from $11 to a current price of about $7.35 – a 33-percent decrease.

Next is VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS). There is a laundry list of insider transactions that occurred July 18. Twelve transactions that sold shares of VIVUS stock were placed July 18, all at $30.36 a share – the aggregate total was more than 200,000 shares. Nearly three weeks after those transactions, VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) stock was selling for about $21.25 a share Monday – a 30-percent drop in less than three weeks.

And then, there’s Amarin Corporation PLC (NASDAQ:AMRN). Again, there was a series of selling transactions in recent days, this day of interest being July 27 (just 10 days ago), when Amarin insiders posted 15 transactions for an aggregate of 1.2 million shares sold at prices ranging from $13.71 to $14.97 a share. What happened to the stock in the last 10 days? It is currently selling for about $11.00, which is a more than 25-percent drop from the highest price of the stock during that day of inside activity.

We don’t judge the timing of transactions like these, we just found it interesting that these stocks had fallen so dramatically since a flurry of insider activity took place within the pharmaceutical industry in particular, never mind the specific companies of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA), VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) and Amarin Corporation OLC (NASDAQ:AMRN) – each of which have had their share of headlines in recent weeks for their drugs that were seeking and gaining FDA approval.