(By Rich Bieglmeier) The saying goes no news is good news. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case for Vringo, Inc. (VRNG). Since its patent infringement trial went to the courtroom on October 16, 2012, the stock price has been sliced by 25% while it has been all quiet on the news-front, and many shareholders are right back where they started. iStock sure hopes many VRNG traders read our article Know Your Vringo (VRNG) Options Before Settlement Talks End.
While reports from the courtroom have gone into the digital black hole, iStock uncovered some unsetting news. Six insiders sold a ton of Vringo shares on the eve of the trial and near its recent highs. What the heck does that say about management's confidence in their case?
On October 4th, CFO Ellen Cohl sold 1,346 shares at $4.50. On the 8th, she did it again, selling another 1,346 shares at $5.48, and then another 1,346 on the 15th for $4.46. Ms. Cohl still owns 135,000 shares.
Director John Engelman unloaded 11,173 shares on October 3rd at a cost average of $4.03, another 1,173 shares at $5.29 on the 8th, and 1,173 more on the 15th for $4.65 per share. Mr. Engelman still owns 265,095 shares.
President & CTO, Andrew Lang went sell ticket happy on the 3rd, parting ways with 238,626 shares. Andrew sold 68,171 more shares at a cost average around $5.09 on the 9th and went small on the 15th, selling only 14,558 shares at $4.65. Mr Lang still owns 2,765,400 shares.
Next up, Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Perlman got into action on the 3rd by dumping 97.332 shares for $4.01. Four thousand more went out the door on the 8th and the 15th for $5.29 and $4.625, respectively. Mr. Perlman still owns 741,666 shares.
Another board member, Seth Siegel joined the selling party on the October 3, 2012 with 152,421 shares at roughly $4.02 per share. Keeping up with the trend you may have noticed, 2,421 shares on the 15th. Mr. Siegel still owns 379,678 shares.
The hits just keep on coming, COO and Secretary, Alexander Berger sold a total of 209,595 on the 3rd and 5th, a total of 31,940 more on the 8th and 9th, and finished up with 8,828 on the 15th. Mr. Berger still owns 1,839,516 shares.
The good news is that all of the sales were wither options or warrants exercise related, meaning these six insiders cashed in low-priced derivatives of VRNG stock for a quick haul of cash. Who can blame them? Additionally, all sold only a fraction of their holdings, which means plenty is still on the line for the jury's verdict or a settlement.
Nonetheless, it still smells like uncertainty in our view. iStock would have found it more reassuring if the six exercised their options/warrants and held onto the shares.