Massive Icahn and Buffett Trades Highlight Insider Buying: Herbalife, Penske Automotive, Phillips 66, Norwegian Cruise Lines and More

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With one of the slowest trading weeks of the year out of the way, Wall Street is now focused on the typically volatile months of September and October. With plenty of economic data to watch and the final 60 days of the presidential election cycle in the queue, there is plenty of ways the market can have some big moves. One thing is for sure, the insiders continue to buy stock, and at these lofty levels, that remains a positive for investors.

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 remains an overall positive indicator.

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

Herbalife

A Wall Street legend was piling into more shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF). Carl Icahn, a 10% owner, raised the stakes in his battle with Bill Ackman over the direct marketing company and purchased an additional 2,304,683 shares of the stock at a share price of $59.31. The total for the trade came in at a gigantic $137 million.

Shares of the company closed the day last Friday at $61.35, so the timing looks solid.

Phillips 66

Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) also had a big-time buyer on the desk once again this past week, and just like all of 2016 the share count is huge. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which is now a 10% owner of the company, was busy buying 83,466 more shares of the company at $78.29 apiece. The total for the trade came to $8 million.

Phillips 66 operates as an energy manufacturing and logistics company. Its stock closed the day on Friday at $78.87.

Penske Automotive

The top insider at Penske Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE: PAG) purchased shares last week. The CEO, the legendary Roger Penske himself, who is also a 10% owner of the company, bought a whopping 478,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $43.99 to $44.60. The total for the purchase was a large $21 million.

The company operates retail automotive and commercial vehicle dealerships principally in the United States and Western Europe, and it distributes commercial vehicles, diesel engines, gas engines, power systems and related parts and services, primarily in Australia and New Zealand. The stock closed last Friday at $46.36, so it seems a well-timed buy.

Norwegian Cruise Line

The chief executive at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: NCLH) purchased some shares this past week. Frank Del Rio bought a total of 83,498 shares of the travel company at prices that ranged from $35.90 to $35.96. The total for the buy was posted at $3 million.

The company provides cruises ranging from one-day to 180-day itineraries to approximately 510 destinations worldwide. The company operates 24 ships under the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, with approximately 46,500 berths. Shares closed Friday at $35.61.

comScore

comScore Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) had a 10% owner of the company buying shares. WPP picked up a block of 60,000 shares of the stock at $29.58 per share. The total for the purchase hit the tape at $2 million.

comScore operates as a cross-platform measurement company that measures audiences, brands and consumer behavior worldwide. Its data footprint combines proprietary digital, TV and movie intelligence with demographic details to quantify consumers’ multiscreen behavior. The stock closed Friday at $31.81, so another well-timed purchase.

And Others

These companies also reported insider buying last week: Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP), Cavium Inc. (NASDAQ: CAVM), Chimerix Inc. (NASDAQ: CMRX), Dominion Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: DM) and Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO).

Continued insider buying in a toppy market shows conviction from top executives and 10% owners. While the volume didn’t match the sellers this week, it was strong enough to be a distinct positive.