Massive Netflix Purchase Highlights Insider Buying: General Electric, Delta Airlines, Mattress Firm, Bank of New York Mellon and More

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For most of the second-quarter earnings season, which is starting to wind down, we saw very few insiders at major corporations buying shares. The best explanation is a simple one: Insiders were not super-excited about buying shares with the market trading at all-time highs. Some backup in the markets, and some steep sell-offs in individual companies, sure did open the door for the buyers this past week.

We cover insider buying each and every week at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind readers that while insider buying is usually a very positive sign, it is not in of itself a reason to run out and buy a stock. Sometimes insiders and 10% owners have stock purchase plans set up at intervals to add to their holdings. That aside, it still remains an overall positive indicator.

Here are some of the companies that reported notable insider buying last week.

Netflix

A huge buyer stepped in and bought Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) shares as the streaming entertainment giant sold-off big time. A director at the company made an incredibly well-timed buy of a block of 600,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $85.76 to $87.60. The total for the trade came is at an eye-popping $52 million. The stock closed the day Friday at $91.25, so very well-timed buy indeed.

Mattress Firm

Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: MFRM) hits our screens again, but for the first time since back in the spring. A 10% owner of the company, 40 North Latitude Fund, bought an additional 401,775 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $29.74 to $30.12. The total for this purchase came in right at $12 million. The stock closed Friday at $29.84.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AERI) also had a 10% owner adding to a position last week. Foresite Capital bought a block of 250,00 shares of the stock at $17.50 apiece. The total for the trade was posted at $4 million. The shares closed Friday at $17.35.

The company focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of glaucoma and other eye diseases. Its product candidates include Rhopressa, a once-daily eye drop, which has completed Phase 3 registration trials for the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension, and Roclatan, a once-daily eye drop to reduce IOP that has completed Phase 2b clinical trial in patients with open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

Bank of New York Mellon

A director at Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK) was purchasing more shares last week. Trian Fund bought a total of 152,000 shares of the stock at prices between $38.64 to $39.01 per share. The total for the buy was posted at $6 million. The shares closed Friday at $39.40 so the timing looks good.

Bank of New York Mellon is an investment company that provides financial products and services to institutions, corporations and high net worth individuals in the United States and internationally. It operates through two segments: Investment Management and Investment Services.

Delta Air Lines

Buying shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) last week was the chief financial officer, Paul Jacobson. He picked up a total of 25,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $38.85 to $38.97. The total for the trade came in right at the $1 million mark. Delta shares closed Friday at $39.36 apiece.

GE

Industrial giant General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) had its CEO buying shares last week, in the wake of its second-quarter earnings report. Jeff Immelt acquired a 50,000-share block of the stock at $31.45. That cost him some $1.6 million. GE shares ended last week at $31.14.

And Others

These companies also reported insider buying last week: Lands’ End Inc. (NASDAQ: LE), SL Green Realty Corp. (NYSE: SLG), Southern National Bancorp of Virginia Inc. (NASDAQ: SONA) and Wintrust Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: WTFC).

Many of these insiders were pouncing on shares that have been knocked down, and that is a good sign for shareholders. While the insider buying volume remained tepid, it was more than we have seen in recent weeks.