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NetApp Insiders Net Big Bucks

A rising stock has been good to Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) shareholders -- which includes company executives.

A group of 11 NetApp insiders sold off 3.23 million shares last quarter, reaping a total of $105 million in gross profits, according to information from research company Thomson Financial. When factoring out the 2.74 million shares exercised from stock options, the execs pulled in $75 million.

"That's still very substantial in terms of profit-taking," says Kevin Schwenger, research analyst at Thomson. "That's about three times what we normally see for this company."

President Thomas Mendoza led the charge by unloading 1,825,623 shares for $60,451,469, followed by CEO Daniel Warmenhoven with 275,000 shares ($8,900,175), EVP Jeffry Allen with 200,000 shares ($6,566,400), and founder/EVP James Lau with 140,723 shares ($4,750,571). Six others sold more than $1 million worth of stock, including founder/EVP David Hitz and CFO Steve Gomo.

NetApp insider selling for the quarter easily led storage vendors. EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), for example, saw eight top-level employees sell $22 million worth of stock for the same period, according to Thomson figures.

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