Insider Buying Still Strong During Year-End Holiday Week

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With investors, both institutional and retail, down to their last days of trading for 2014 this past week, there were some spikes in trading volume that accompanied the normal slow year-end trading. As we have noted in past reports, the continued strong insider buying into the teeth of a stock market that has hitting all-time highs continues to be a bullish sign, not only for investors, but for extended potential gains for 2015.

We cover insider buying each week at 24/7 Wall St., and this past week’s screens show that some top insiders and 10% holders continued to add to their stakes.

Here are this past week’s top insider stocks buys.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) saw some massive buying by another pharmaceutical company that is a 10% owner of the company. Sanofi bought a staggering 201,459 shares of the high-dollar stock at prices that ranged from $392.20 to $398.80. The total purchase was a huge $79.2 million. Regeneron was trading at $41o.16 at Friday’s closing bell, so the buy looks well-timed.

Vermillion Inc. (NASDAQ: VRML) also had two 10% owners purchase blocks of company stock. Jack Schuler and Larry Feinberg bought a combined 2.3 million shares at $1.44. The total purchase came to $3.3 million. The company has diagnostic programs for gynecologic disease. The company’s lead diagnostic, OVA1, is a blood test for presurgical assessment of ovarian tumors for malignancy, using an innovative algorithmic approach. Shares ended trading on Friday at $1.95.

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First Marblehead Corp. (NYSE: FMD) is another company in which a 10% owner stepped in to buy shares this past week. Second Curve Capital bought 349,000 shares at prices that ranged from $5.05 to $5.11. The total purchase came to $1.8 million. First Marblehead helps meet the need for education financing by offering national and regional financial institutions and educational institutions the Monogram platform, an integrated suite of design, implementation and credit risk management services for private label, customizable private education loan programs. Shares closed out the week at $6.03.

A.M. Castle & Co. Inc. (NYSE: CAS) saw 10% owner M. William buy its stock this past week, specifically 253,300 shares at prices that from $7.17 to $7.64. The total of the purchase came to $1.9 million. A.M. Castle is a a global distributor of specialty metal and plastic products, value-added services and supply chain solutions. The stock was trading on Friday close at the $8.13 level, so another timely purchase.

Town Sports International Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CLUB) continues the parade of companies that had 10% owner purchase stock this week. Patrick Walsh bought 208,112 shares at prices that ranged from $6.02 to $6.04. The total purchase came to $1.3 million. The company owns and operates fitness clubs in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The stock closed trading Friday at $6.29.

These companies also saw insiders buying stock this past week: Actuant Corp. (NYSE: ATU), Fuel-Tech Inc. (NASDAQ: FTEK), MFRI Inc. (NASDAQ: MFRI), Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OAS) and U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SLCA).

ALSO READ: 5 Stock Picks for 2015 With Huge Potential Upside