Aqua America (NYSE: WTR ) Chairman, President, and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis just sold around $3 million of his shares, according to a company statement released today.
The 99,176 shares were sold for "personal long-term financial planning reasons" and to allow for "more diversity and liquidity" in the executive's personal holdings, according to the company. Trading by company insiders is closely watched by Wall Street, and selling by high-level management is sometimes perceived as a hint at overvaluation or impending issues.
In this case, the company says DeBenedictis and his wife still own 782,150 Aqua shares (worth around $23.9 million at the current share price) and he exceeds by five times the stock ownership guidelines set by the board.
Since the CEO used shares to satisfy some of his exercise and withholding obligations, Aqua expects the overall impact to earnings per share to be slightly positive for its shareholders. As of this writing, shares are trading at around $30.59, and have moved between $23.61 and $33.28 in the past year.