It is no secret that the market has moved from a raging bull market to a market that has become volatile. This last week turned out to be a rough week in the markets, but some corporate insiders decided to purchase some of their own companies stock. Despite solid earnings from the second quarter, a plethora of geopolitical events around the world met up with the usual August doldrums to take their toll on the market.
At 24/7 Wall Street we review insider trading every week, so our readers can get a good idea of where corporate executives are putting their money. Officers and insiders may sell shares for a myriad of reasons. However, insider buying is generally done for one reason – they think the stock is undervalued or that it can rise handily ahead. In many cases this can reassure investors if a company has had a temporary slip-up.
Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG) once again hits our screens. Cascade Investments, which is the private family office investment arm for Microsoft founder Bill Gates continues to add to their huge position in the waste management company. Cascade bought 147,000 shares of the stock at $37.90 for a total of $5.6 million. Republic was trading late Friday at $38.34.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) had a director come in with a $1 million order. The purchase of 23,000 shares at $43.10 bodes very well for Microsoft bulls. Making that kind of personal buy at these higher trading levels signals more good things may be on the horizon for the software giant. Shares were trading on Friday at $43.20.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) had a current 10% owner come in strong and add to their holdings. Westend S.A. purchased 258,000 shares at prices ranging from $21.10 to 21.80. That came to a total of $5.6 million. The stock has dropped sharply this year and has traded sideways in the low 20’s since February. This may be an interesting name for traders to look at. Shares were changing hands Friday at $22.17.
Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN) has been a somewhat troubled stock, and the CEO and CFO are showing some confidence in the company. Together they bought a total of 52,500 shares at prices ranging for $10.20 to $10.50 in a purchase that totaled $549,000. The stock has had a very bad year. Does this signal that management thinks a bottom has been seen? Penn National traded late Friday at $10.77.
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) had a 10% owner step up and add substantially more stock to their holdings. Deerfield Partners came in and bought 330,000 shares at prices ranging from $19.09 to $20.99. This came to a very large total of $6.5 million. The stock is down over 60% since early in the year, and this may signal a good level for investors to take a look. Shares were trading late Friday at $21.49.
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) saw a very bullish buy of stock from a director of the company that purchased 25,000 shares at $81.87. Despite a solid year, the stock recently sold-off over 10% and this may be a case of a quick downturn, and an insider taking advantage. The east coast financial powerhouse was trading late Friday at $81.32.
Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD) CEO made a very bullish statement when he made a purchase this week. The top executive at the company bought 25,000 shares of stock at $132.80. The company has had an outstanding year, and the buy level was just short of a 52 week high for the stock. This could be the ultimate bullish indicator. Shares were trading late on Friday at $131.19.
Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH) saw almost the entire group of executive level employees buying stock this week. Between the President/CEO, the COO, two directors and the general counsel of the company, they bought a combined 35,000 shares of stock worth $556,000. That seems to be a very positive move on what lies ahead for Beazer. The stock was trading late Friday at $16.48.
As the markets sold off this past week and the week before, the insider buying stepped up in a commensurate fashion. Not only does this seem very positive for the specific companies, it bodes well for the overall market if insiders are ready to commit personal capital after such a substantial multi-year market rally.