Wendell Murphy, founder, chairman and chief executive of Murphy Farms based in North Carolina, and a director at Smithfield Foods, has disposed of his entire direct holdings in the company, according to a report in the April 20, 2011 issue of BARRONS.

The actions followed just weeks after the company reached a multiyear high in the value of its shares. From April 11 to 13, Murphy sold 160,915 shares of Smithfield stock for $3.76 million, an average of $23.43 each. He followed up less than a week later, selling 340,000 shares of the meatpacking company stock for $7.91 million, an average of $23.26 each.

After the sale of more than 500,000 shares worth $11.7 million, Murphy continues to own indirectly 4,000 Smithfield shares through a spouse, which represents less than 1% of the company’s outstanding shares.

The company’s stock reached a high of $24.93 on March 29, the highest it has traded at since June 2008. On March 10, Smithfield reported fiscal earnings for the third quarter that beat analyst expectations.