Logically, it seems that as they stock market zooms higher, insiders who want to buy stock would wait until a pullback to add new capital. If this week’s action is any indication, it is entirely possible that many insiders and 10% owners looking to add to their holdings do not expect a major pullback in the markets anytime soon and are content to make strong purchases now.
We cover insider buying every week at 24/7 Wall St., and insiders may have had windows to buy stock reopen this week as the fourth-quarter earnings reporting season is starting to wind down. Regardless of the reason, insider buying in a market near all-time highs on most indexes is very bullish.
Here are the companies that saw significant insider selling this past week.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) has been hit hard since earnings were posted, and shareholders will be glad that a director of the company bought stock this week. Mason Morfit picked up a huge block of a million shares of the software giant at prices that ranged from $40.84 to $41.47. The total buy came to a staggering $42.5 million. Microsoft shares closed trading Friday at $42.41, so well-timed indeed.
Atlas Energy L.P. (NYSE: ATLS) continued to see insider buying from Wall Street legend Leon Cooperman. He purchased 289,900 shares of the master limited partnership at prices that ranged from $29.86 to $30.10. The stock ended trading on Friday at $30.26 as oil continued to rally.
Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ: EGLE) saw a 10% owner step in this week and add stock to its holdings. Goldentree Asset Management bought 565,000 shares at between $9.00 and $9.75 apiece. The total purchase came to a tidy $5.5 million. The stock was trading at Friday’s close at $9.86, so the timing looks good.
Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) shareholders should be very pleased to see that the CEO with his name on the door made a major stock purchase this past week. John Hess bought a block of 57,506 shares at $69.52 apiece. The total of the buy came to $4 million. The company, which has been the subject of takeover chatter, especially since the plunge in oil, was trading at $72.97 at Friday’s close. A timely buy indeed.
Green Dot Corp. (NYSE: GDOT) is another company that saw the CEO step up to the plate and buy stock this past week. Steven Streit, who also founded the company, acquired 206,800 shares at $14.45 each, or about $3 million. The company operates as a technology-centric, pro-consumer bank holding company that provides personal banking for the masses. It offers prepaid debit card products and prepaid card reloading services in the United States, as well as mobile banking services with its GoBank mobile bank account offering. Shares ended the week at $15.42, so another well-timed trade.
These companies also saw some insider buying last week: Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH), Carbo Ceramics Inc. (NYSE: CRR), Parker-Hannifin Corp. (NYSE: PH) and Tuesday Morning Corp. (NASDAQ: TUES).
Insider buying in beaten-down sectors like energy is extremely bullish, not only for energy investors, but equity investors as a whole. We are watching closely to see if energy insiders keep up the pace.