Massive Hedge Fund Trades Highlight Insider Buying: GE, Pentair, Tempur Sealy, Apollo Global and More

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In a week that saw that saw the largest sell-off of the year and had some people thinking a true correction was ready to start, top hedge funds and executives reached into their wallets and made some major purchases. Like the week before, we also saw a huge amount of insider activity concentrated on the buy side, as selling was once again very light in comparison.

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 this past week.

Pentair PLC (NYSE: PNR) had a major holder and director of the company buying more shares last week. Trian Fund purchased 863,000 shares of this diversified industrial manufacturing company at prices that ranged from $65.13 to $65.41 apiece. The total for the trade was posted at a huge $56 million. The stock closed Friday at $67.11, so the purchase appears to be well timed. The 52-week trading range is $53.80 to $69.03, and the Wall Street consensus price objective is $67.50.

Tempur Sealy International Inc. (NYSE: TPX) saw a 10% owner of the company making another huge purchase last week. H Partners acquired a massive 640,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $46.98 to $48.61. The total for the trade was posted at a whopping $31 million. But the shares closed Friday at $45.99, in a 52-week range of $39.52 to $87.37. The consensus price target is $50.67.

SunOpta Inc. (NASDAQ: STKL) also had a big fund buying stock last week. Oaktree Capital purchased 1,392,699 shares of this organic food and beverage products at $8.00 a share. The total for the purchase was set at $11 million. The stock closed Friday at $9.35, above both the buy-in price and the consensus price target of $9.00. The new 52-week range is $3.16 to $9.45.

General Electric Co.’s (NYSE: GE) CEO was buying shares last week, a move that will be seen as very positive. Jeffrey Immelt picked up a 100,000-share block of the stock at prices that ranged from $28.03 to $28.08. The total for the purchase was set at $3 million. The stock closed last Friday at $28.05. The 52-week trading range for the iconic industrial is $27.20 to $33.00, and the consensus price objective is $32.29.

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: WAIR) has been pounded this year, so shareholders will be pleased to know a director at the company bought a million-share block of the stock last week. That board member purchased the shares between $8.00 and $9.00 apiece, and the total price for the trade was set at $9 million. Shares closed Friday at $9.10, in a 52-week range of $7.46 to $15.78, and with a consensus price target of $9.88.

Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) had a huge hedge fund once again acquiring shares last week. Tiger Global Management bought 202,100 shares of the private equity giant at prices that ranged from $26.75 to $27.01. The total for the purchase was reported at 5.5 million. The stock close last Friday at $26.10, and the 52-week range for the shares is $14.25 to $27.78. The consensus price target is $30.

These companies also reported insider buying last week: Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA), Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL), Revlon Inc. (NYSE: REV), Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) and U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE: X).

Another week of insider buying absolutely swamping the sellers, and again, in a week that saw some of the highest volatility we have seen this year. This is a positive sign for investors given that once again, despite the selling, all the indexes are trading at or near their all-time highs.