Despite a shortened week of trading in the equity markets due to the Labor Day holiday, there was a still a sizable herd of corporate insiders adding to their holdings. With the market up almost the entire month of August after a dramatic late July sell-off, to see continued insider buying at these record levels may bode well for investors as we head into the often treacherous months of the fall.
We track insider trading every week at 24/7 Wall Street so our readers have a good idea of what executives at top public companies are doing. While typically company insiders have windows dedicated when they can make transactions, outside large holders are substantially less constrained.
Here are the top insider purchases reported this past week.
Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG) might as well just carve out a home here on 24/7 Wall Street, as the company is showing up every week recently. Cascade Investments, the private investment arm of billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates, continues to add to its gigantic position in the waste disposal company. This week, Cascade bought an additional 630,910 shares of the stock at prices ranging from $39.10 to $39.40. The cost of this week’s purchase was a staggering $24.9 million. Shares were trading Friday at $39.01.
Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTI) saw some major insider buying as 10% holder TFG Radiant Investment Group added a large chunk of stock to its already substantial position. The company purchased 2,270,309 shares of stock at $2.64. The total purchase price was reported at $6 million. This appears to be part of a multiple tranche purchase prearranged between Ascent and TFG Radiant. Shares were trading Friday at $2.56.
Castlight Health Inc. (NYSE: CSLT) is another company that had a large shareholder outside of the company come in and make a substantial purchase. Maverick Capital, which is a 10% owner of the company, bought 304,393 shares of stock at a price of $11.80, for a total purchase of $3.6 million. Castlight is a leading provider of enterprise health care cloud software. The Maverick purchase looks very timely as shares were trading Friday at $13.59.
Cousins Properties Inc. (NYSE: CUZ) had a top company insider make a very sizable purchase. The chairman of the board bought 260,000 shares at $12.80, for a total purchase of $3.3 million, a very impressive stock investment by an individual, if you are a current shareholder. Cousins Properties is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in Class-A office assets located in high-growth Sunbelt markets. This looks like another well-timed buy as shares were changing hands on Friday at $13.14.
Southern Copper Corp. (NYSE: SCCO) is another company returning to our screen this week. The chairman of the board, who has made some gigantic purchases over the past month, bought an additional 50,000 shares at $32.56 for a total of $1.6 million. This comes on the heels of our report last week, in which the chairman purchased a whopping 570,000 shares at prices that ranged from $31.36 to $32.87. The total purchase price for those three buys was a gigantic $18.5 million. This is a very bullish indicator for shareholders. Southern Copper shares were trading Friday at $32.86.
Other companies that reported sizable insider transactions include Altisource Asset Management Corp. (NYSE: AAMC), Energy Recovery Inc. (NASDAQ: ERII), Cascade Microtech Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCD), Conns Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN) and Prospect Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: PSEC).
Insider buying into the teeth of a stock market that has posted all-time highs is a very positive indicator for shareholders. It is important to remember that many insider purchases are made by individuals and institutions that have long-term horizons, and they are most likely not looking to flip the stock anytime soon.