Investing

Insider Buying Stays Solid Despite Roller-Coaster Market Week

Lee Jackson

Until Thursday’s gigantic European quantitative easing rally, all the major indexes were in the red for 2015. Yet the big move up and all the market volatility that has spiked as we have begun 2015 has not put a huge damper on insiders who want to add to their positions. While not as busy as some of the week’s that finished up the 2014 trading year, this past week still had a solid showing.

We cover insider buying every week at 24/7 Wall St., and investors are urged to check their current holdings to see if any of the insiders and 10% holders adding to their stock holdings match. With the stock market still the only real place to be given the historically low yields, insider buying remains a bullish indicator.

Here is last week’s top insider buying activity.

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (NASDAQ: ASPS) had a very influential 10% owner step up to the plate and add more stock. Leon Cooperman and his highly respected hedge fund, Omega Advisors, added a large block of 224,107 shares, at prices that ranged wildly from $39.42 to $47.47. The total buy came to a tidy $9.0 million. While the report was filed this week, it appears as though Cooperman actually bought the stock back in December. That makes more sense as shares ended trading Friday at $21.29.

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Atlas Energy L.P. (NYSE: ATLS) is another company that Cooperman’s firm bought stock in. The company acquired a block of 144,000 shares at $27.31. The total purchase came to $3.9 million. The company develops and produces natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids in basins across the United States. It also sponsors and manages tax-advantaged investment partnerships. The shares closed Friday at $28.90.

eHealth Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) saw a 10% individual owner, James Flynn, come in and buy a massive 1 million share block of the stock at $20.30 apiece. The total for the purchase came to $20.3 million. The stock gapped down huge last week, and the buy was a touch early. Shares were trading at $10.98 on Friday’s close.

A.M. Castle & Cos. (NYSE: CAS) had two 10% owners buy stock this past week. They bought a total of 214,177 shares at prices that ranged from $5.72 to $5.95. The total purchase came to $1.2 million. A.M. Castle, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty metals and plastics distribution company. Shares ended the week at $6.02.

Worthington Industries Inc. (NYSE: WOR) saw four directors at the company and a vice president buy stock last week. They bought a total of 55,000 shares at prices that ranged from $24.30 to $24.50. The total purchase came to $1.3 million. Worthington is a metals manufacturing company that focuses on value-added steel processing and manufactured metal products in the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada and elsewhere. Shares closed on Friday at $28.41, so a well-timed buy indeed.

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Other companies that saw insider buying this week include Almost Family Inc. (NASDAQ: AFAM), Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FPRX), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and Upland Software Inc. (NASDAQ: UPLD).