Insider Buying This Week Led by Bill Gates, Cascade Investments

While the market surged to record highs on what is traditionally one of the slowest trading weeks of the year, insiders kept up the pace of buying stock in their respective companies. For investors trying to take the pulse of a stock market that for the first time ever printed 2,000 on the S&P 500, this is a very positive event.

Each week at 24/7 Wall St., we comb through our research looking for the top insider action. While buying and selling can have many different implications, it helps to give investors at least a chart for what may be in store for the companies they hold in their portfolios, or may be looking to add. Here is this week’s top insider buying data.

Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG) once again is a stand-out on the insider buying sheets. With five separate purchases this week, Cascade Investments, the private investment arm of billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates, continues to add to its massive stake in the waste collection company. Cascade bought a staggering total of 1,202,116 shares of stock this week, at prices that ranged from $39.29 to $39.50. The total cost for the trades was a jaw-dropping $47.4 million. Shares ended the week’s trading at $39.33.

Southern Copper Corp. (NYSE: SCCO) also had insider buying that could make Wall Street analysts sit up and take note. The mining leader has rallied this year, reversing some of the losses posted last year as spot prices declined. In what has to be viewed as a very bullish statement, the chairman of the board made three separate purchases this week that totaled 570,000 shares at prices that ranged from $31.36 to $32.87. The total purchase price for the three buys was a gigantic $18.5 million. This is extremely bullish for shareholders. The stock closed Friday at $32.81.

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Altisource Asset Management Corp. (NYSEMKT: AAMC) is a rather unknown and very high-priced stock that caught some huge insider buying this week. The company provides asset management and corporate governance services for institutional investors in the United States. Luxor Capital, which is already a 10% holder of the company, made two purchases of stock totaling 43,282 shares at prices that ranged from $576.60 to an astonishing $700.60. The total price for the purchases was right at $27 million. The very thinly traded shares closed Friday at $744.43.

TransDigm Group Inc. (NYSE: TDG) is another high-priced stock that saw some insider buying at the very top. In two separate trades, the CEO of the company bought 26,375 shares at prices ranging from $185.50 to $188.20. This thinly traded company designs, produces and supplies engineered aerospace components for commercial and military aircraft customers in the United States. Shares traded in their normal light fashion on Friday and closed at $187.99.

Rex Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: REXX) is a company that had shown up on our insider selling lists this summer. One director apparently thought the recent decline in the stock was a good buying level and really stepped up to the plate. He bought 227,650 shares of the stock at $14.54, for a total of $3.3 million. This very significant purchase near the 52-week low for the stock may be a buy sign for interested investors. Shares of the independent oil and gas exploration and production company ended the week at $15.28.

Other well-known companies that saw smaller insider purchases this week included Saba Software Inc. (NASDAQ: SABA), J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ: JBHT), Covidien PLC (NYSE: COV) and Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO).

With the stock market in a very slow holiday trading mode this past week, investors may want to see if some of the companies that saw strong purchasing are a good fit for their portfolios. With insiders committing capital at record levels in the indices, some interesting opportunities may be available.

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