Giant Biotech and Energy Insider Buys Highlight Wild Market Week: Chesapeake Energy, Cheniere Energy, Phillips 66 and More

Print Email

Once again, the roller-coaster that is the stock market took investors on a wild ride, and this time is was mostly higher. A massive rally shot all the indexes higher and erased virtually all the earlier losses that had been racked up in September. One thing is for sure, the sell-offs that hit earlier in the month got some insiders interested in shares, and like the week before, they were out again in force last week.

We cover insider buying each 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.

Aquinox Pharmaceuticals

The renowned Baker Brothers hedge fund was buying Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AQXP) shares last week. Baker Brothers specializes in biotechnology investing, and this past week bought a huge 2,783,605 shares of this company at $12.25 apiece. The total for the trade was posted at $34 million.

Aquinox Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company that engages in discovering and developing targeted therapeutics in disease areas of inflammation and immuno-oncology. It primarily focuses on anti-inflammatory product candidates targeting SH2-containing inositol-5?-phosphatase 1 (SHIP1) enzyme, a key regulator of a cellular signaling pathway in immune cells. Its lead product candidate is AQX-1125, a small molecule activator of SHIP1 that is in Phase 2 clinical trials for treatment in interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome, a chronic inflammatory disease of the bladder.

Shares of Aquinox Pharmaceuticals closed Friday’s trading at $14.77, so a very well-timed purchase, it appears.

Endurance International

Last week, Endurance International Group Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: EIGI) had a big institutional holder adding shares. Warburg Pincus made two massive purchases of the stock. Early in the week it bought 1,599,500 shares at prices that ranged from $8.41 to $8.63. The total for that buy was posted at $14 million. Later in the week the firm came back in and bought an additional 1,130,000 shares at prices between $8.47 and $8.78. The total for that buy was set at $10 million.

The company provides cloud-based platform solutions for small-and medium-sized businesses worldwide. It offers domain registration, management and resale services, as well as proprietary, third-party and open source website building tools that enable subscribers with varying degrees of technical sophistication to create a customized web presence.

The stock ended Friday’s session at $8.51 per share, which was down fractionally for the week.

Chesapeake Energy

A massive buy of Chesapeake Energy Inc. (NYSE: CHK) came from a director at the company last week. That director bought a block of 1 million shares at prices that ranged from $6.65 to $6.69 apiece. The total for the buy was posted at $7 million, but given those prices it seems like it should be less.

Chesapeake Energy shares closed the day on Friday at $6.63, after slipping more than 3% on the day.

Cheniere Energy

Another well-known energy company, Cheniere Energy Inc. (NYSE: LNG), also had a highly placed insider buying shares. The CEO of the company, Jack Fusco, purchased 35,063 shares at $42.78 per share. The total for the buy was posted at $2 million.

The company engages in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) related business in the United States. It owns and operates Sabine Pass LNG terminal in western Cameron Parish, Louisiana, and Corpus Christi LNG terminal near Corpus Christi, Texas. It also owns Creole Trail Pipeline, a 94-mile pipeline interconnecting the Sabine Pass LNG terminal with various interstate pipelines.

The timing looks pretty good here too as the stock closed the day on Friday at $43.72.

Phillips 66

Once again this past week, Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) had a big-time buyer on the desk, and he may be just topping off the tank as a significant number of shares have been bought all year. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which is now a 10% owner of Phillips 66, was busy adding 17,910 more shares. At a share price of $77.52, the total for the trade came to gigantic $1.3 million.

Shares of this energy manufacturing and logistics company closed the day on Friday at $79.58, so it appears to be another well-timed trade.

These companies also reported insider buying last week: AMBAC Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBC), Genesco Inc. (NYSE: GCO), Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX), Radiant Logistics Inc. (NYSE: RLGT) and Westbury Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: WBB).

With third quarter earnings right around the corner, it’s a pretty good bet that many corporate windows for insiders to sell will be shutting soon, and there is a good chance volume will start to dry up next week.