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Apple Insiders Cash In while DOW, Nasdaq Top Movers Slide

Many prominent executives in Apple (AAPL) have been cashing in blocks of company stock for major payouts. As the company's shares reached $617.62 yesterday, the soaring share price appears to have

Many prominent executives in Apple (AAPL) have been cashing in blocks of company stock for major payouts. As the company’s shares reached $617.62 yesterday, the soaring share price appears to have motivated some executives at the Cupertino, CA company to sell stock options as they vested for major paydays. In total, over $300 million in stock has been sold by five top executives. Most of the stock sold came in the form of Restricted Stock Units, or RSUs, which are generally awarded a little over four years ago and just vested.

“The Company believes long-term equity awards in the form of RSUs are the most effective way to attract and retain a talented executive team and align executives’ interests with those of shareholders,” the company said through its proxy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook sold close to 240,000 shares for approximately $140 million. Also selling shares were CFO Peter Oppenheimer, who cashed in 150,000 shares for about $90 million, marketing chief Phil Schiller, who sold shares to the tune of $72 million, and hardware chief Bob Mansfield and mobile software head Scott Forstall sold about $33 million worth of stock each.

Exar Makes Sweeping Changes

Semiconductor-maker Exar Corporation (EXAR) continued its restructuring plans in an effort to reduce costs and operating expenses. Overall, in 2012, Fremont, CA-based Exar has eliminated 169 positions in the March quarter, representing 40 percent of the company’s global headcount for an annual savings of $21 million.

“In support of our goal to achieve consistent profitable growth we continue to align and scale our workforce with our market, product and financial plans.  We have taken meaningful action today that is comprehensive and includes adjustments in all functional areas of our company and regions of the world,” said President and CEO Louis DiNardo. ” …the total impact of our restructuring actions in the March quarter represent a significant reduction in headcount and spending while fostering focus on new product development and growth. We believe that our remaining headcount of approximately 270 people is adequate and appropriate to support our needs in sales, marketing, product development, finance, human resources and other functional disciplines while we drive growth in our target markets. “

The company also reaffirmed its full-year guidance for 2012. Shares in the company fell 2.04 percent on Wednesday.

Chron 200 Recap: Top Movers

The Chron 200 managed to once again managed to buck the trend of otherwise down markets Wednesday, holding even with just a 0.04 percent gain as the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all lost approximately a half percent.

Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL) did its best imitation of a yo-yo Wednesday. After losing 4.52 percent off its share price Tuesday to make it the day’s biggest loser, the company jumped 4.11 percent Wednesday to make it the day’s biggest gainer. The company announced in early January that two of its leading products had entered clinical trials at the end of last year. Also making significant gains Wednesday were Equinix (EQIX), which provides data-centers and internet exchanges for businesses, which gained 2.76 percent, and visual computing company NVIDIA Coproration (NVDA), which was up 2.29 percent.

The day’s biggest loser came in SYNNEX Corporation (SNX), which fell off a cliff in after hours trading after market close Tuesday. The company’s earnings report showed a slight contraction in revenues and issued lower-than-expected guidance for the next quarter, and the shares took a beating Wednesday to the tune of a 12.51 percent decline. Also losing ground was mini-cap communications company Dialogic (DLGC) which fell 8.85 percent, and networking vendor Aruba Networks (ARUN) fell 5.27 percent.

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