Investing

Insider Buying Remains Very Solid as Stock Market Rises

Despite the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 hitting all-time highs, and the Nasdaq a 14-year high, insiders continued to buy stock this past week, in what could be a very bullish sign for investors. While the market strength has tapered some of the aggressive buying we saw in the mid-October sell-off, insiders are still stepping up to the plate.

We cover insider selling every week at 24/7 Wall St., and despite the slowing trend, some substantial purchases were still made. Here is a look at this past week’s top insider buying trades.

World Acceptance Corp. (NASDAQ: WRLD) saw a substantial purchase of shares from a 10% holder. S. Vassalluzzo bought a large block of 129,580 shares at prices that ranged from $71.40 to $72.10. The total tab for the purchase was $9.3 million. The company is one of the largest small-loan consumer finance companies, operating 1,293 offices in 14 states and Mexico. It is also the parent company of ParaData Financial Systems, a provider of computer software solutions for the consumer finance industry. World Acceptance shares closed trading on Friday at $74.24, so a timely purchase indeed.

Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) takes its weekly spot on our insider buying screens. Once again, 10% owner B. Berkowitz is buying more stock of the teetering retailer. This week he bought 317,000 shares at prices that ranged from $35.30 to $37.00. The total amount of the buy came to $11.6 million. The shares were trading up about 31% on Friday’s close at $42.81 on chatter that the company might look to reorganize as a real estate investment trust (REIT). With 65% of the shares sold short, this could be a classic short squeeze. It is also an awesome purchase.

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Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN) saw a director of the firm buying shares of the chemical company this past week. Nolan Archibald made a statement for shareholders when he purchased 450,000 shares of the company stock at $24.00 for a sizable $10.8 million. The stock ended trading on Friday at $24.69, so another well-timed purchase.

Southern Copper Corp. (NYSE: SCCO) is another company that we have seen consistent and large insider buying at going back to the summer. Once again, the chairman of the company made a large purchase of 350,000 shares at $28.50 apiece. The total came to $10 million. He has continued to add shares as lower commodity prices and a stronger dollar continue to hammer the company’s share price. Shares closed trading on Friday at $30.20.

Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI) had a director of the firm come in with a large buy order this week of 60,000 shares of the stock. The total for the purchase came to $4.3 million. The company provides towers and other wireless structures, such as rooftops, as well as distributed antenna systems, a type of small cell network. Shares ended the week at $79.80.

Other companies that reported insider buying this week include Sonus Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: SONS), Atlas Energy L.P. (NYSE: ATLS), Xoom Corp. (NASDAQ: XOOM), STAAR Surgical Co. (NASDAQ:STAA) and Accuray Inc. (NASDAQ: ARAY).

Continued insider buying into the teeth of a secular bull market is a good sign for shareholders of the companies, and equity investors as a whole.

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