Investing

Rough Market Week Brings High-Profile Insider Buying

Lee Jackson

Despite the solid day on Friday due to a much higher than expected jobs report, the market had one of the worst weeks since the early August sell-off. Often insiders looking to buy, especially if they are 10% holders and can buy at anytime, pounce to add to their holdings on a bad week. That was the case this past week, and insiders took advantage of some steep share price declines.

At 24/7 Wall St. we cover insider trading on a weekly basis. It is important to remember that insider buying may not only suggest company momentum, it can indicate a bad pricing for the stock, the kind of pricing a sell-off can generate. Here is this past week’s top insider buying.

Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG) should come as no surprise to regular 24/7 Wall St. readers. Cascade Investments, the private investing company for Microsoft founder Bill Gates, was at it again, acquiring stock of the waste management giant. Cascade purchased an additional 988,000 shares at prices ranging from $38.80 to $39.10 The total purchase was a massive $38.6 million. Investors receive a solid 2.9% dividend. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $40.79. Shares ended trading Friday at $38.27.

Conns Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN) has seen some big insider action since reporting less-than-stellar earnings. The electronics and furniture retailer gapped down huge in late August, dropping 20% after reporting disappointing numbers, and has stayed there. That seems like a clue to Luxor Capital a 10% owner, which bought staggering 3.1 million shares at prices ranging from $27.50 to $30.70. The total buy came to a gigantic $89.9 million. The consensus price target for the stock is $44.86. The stock closed trading Friday at $32.94, so Luxor’s purchase looks very well timed.

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Altisource Asset Management (NYSEMKT: AAMC) returns to the insider buying screens again this week, and Luxor Capital returns to buy as well. The 10% owner bought an additional 8,896 shares of the company at prices that stretched from $670.90 to $675. The total purchase came to an even $6 million. The consensus price target for Altisource, which provides asset management and corporate governance services for institutional investors in the United States, was not posted. The shares were changing hands on Friday’s close at $699.92.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE: AEO) shareholders should be pleased. For the second week in a row the executive chairman and interim CEO showed up as a big buyer. Jay Schottenstein bought an additional 351,058 shares of the retailer’s stock at prices that ranged from $14.50 to $14.80. The total buy came to $5.1 million. Investors are paid a very respectable 3.4% dividend. The consensus price target is $13.81. Shares closed up Friday at $14.47.

Web.com Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WWWW) is another stock that returns to our insider buying screens. Okumus Fund Management is a 10% owner and added to its already large holdings by buying 228,798 shares at $20 for a grand total of $4.6 million. Web.com is a a leading provider of Internet services and online marketing solutions for small businesses. Its consensus price objective is $27.83. The stock closed trading on Friday at $19.98.

Other companies that saw insider buying this week include Ikanos Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IKAN), Valspar Corp. (NYSE: VAL), Ferrellgas Partners L.P. (NYSE: FGP), Steel Partners Holdings L.P. (NYSE: SPLP) and Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ASPX)

Remember to check every weekend as we highlight the top insider buying from the past week’s trading on 24/7 Wall St.

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