After a painfully slow, and somewhat alarming month for insider buying in January, we saw somewhat of a bounce in volume last week, as fourth-quarter earnings season started to come to a close. Despite the pickup, it’s still worth noting that insider selling volume has dwarfed buying for weeks and could be signaling a top in the market, which has had a huge run since last November’s election.
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 remains an overall positive indicator.
Here are some of the companies that reported notable insider buying last week.
Tailored Brands Inc. (NYSE: TLRD) had a 10% owner of the company acquiring more shares last week. Eminence Capital bought a massive 1.1 million shares of the specialty apparel retailer at a share price of $20.00. The total for the buy was posted at $7 million. The stock closed Friday at $21.49, so the timing looks solid. The 52-week trading range is $10.90 to $28.76. The Wall Street consensus price objective is $24.50.
For the second week in a row, 10% owner Elliott International was buying Arconic Inc. (NYSE: ARNC) shares. The company bought a block of 800,000 shares of the manufacturer of engineered products for aerospace and other markets at prices that ranged from $22.56 to $22.71 per share. The total for the buy was listed at $18 million. The shares closed on Friday at $25.90, so a well-timed purchase. The 52-week range is $15.99 to $25.86, and the consensus price target is $24.80.
Alliance Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: ADS), a provider marketing and loyalty solutions, also had a high-profile 10% owner buying shares for the second week running. Hedge Fund ValueAct Holdings purchased a total of 57,400 shares at prices listed between $217.57 and $219.80. The total purchase price for the stock was $13 million. Shares ended last week at $228.14, so another well-timed purchase. The 52-week trading range is $176.63 to $241.69, and the consensus price target is$248.95.
The vice chairman of Live Oak Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: LOB) also bought stock last week. William Williams picked up a block of 50,000 shares of the North Carolina–based bank at prices between $20.05 and $20.45 a share. The total for the trade was posted at an even $1 million. The stock closed last Friday at $20.65, in a 52-week range of $12.55 to $20.90. The consensus price target is $21.83.
Yet another company that had a 10% owner buying stock was Calamos Asset Management Inc. (NASDAQ: CLMS). Mangrove Partners purchased 76,683 shares at prices that ranged from $8.34 to $8.36 apiece. The total for the trade was set at $600,000. The shares closed last Friday at $8.35, above the consensus price objective of $7.13. The 52-week range is $5.94 to $9.50.
These companies also reported insider buying last week: Cimpress N.V. (NASDAQ: CMPR), Clearfield Inc. (NASDAQ: CLFD), County Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: ICBK), Farmer Capital Bank Corp. (NASDAQ: FFKT) and Medley Capital Corp. (NYSE: MCC).
While the buy volume was clearly better, it is still getting trounced by the sellers. It will be interesting to see if the volume continues to pick up in February as insider trading windows start to open again after earnings season.