Investing

Insider Buying Stays Steady as Market Pushes Higher

Lee Jackson

In what is becoming a consistent pattern this year, despite the stock market steadily moving higher after a rough January, insiders continue to buy stock. More and more we are noticing buyers of some energy and industrial names that have lagged the overall market gains. That is a good sign for investors, not only in those sectors, but overall. It indicates that the troubles could be more of a secular nature and can be overcome, rather than a general negative view and a willingness to sell to get out.

We cover insider buying each week here at 24/7 Wall St., and the number of high level executives and 10% institutional owners adding to positions is in line with recent weeks. With earnings season windows opening up after first-quarter reports, we could see an increase in some sectors.

Here are the companies that saw insider buying this past week.

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is a New York Stock Exchange stalwart that has struggled over the past year to move meaningfully higher. A director at the blue chip giant took advantage this week of the weakness and bought a large block of 400,000 shares at $25.24 apiece. The total for the purchase came to $10.1 million. The stock was trading at Friday’s close at $25.21.

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Learning Tree International Inc. (NASDAQ: LTRE) saw a C-suite executive make a meaningful purchase. The chief executive officer, who is also a 10% owner of the company, bought 3.3 million shares at $1.85. The total buy came to a tidy $6.1 million. The company develops, markets and delivers a library or instructor-led classroom courses for professional development needs of information technology (IT) professionals and managers worldwide. The stock ended trading Friday at $1.75.

Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SPB) had a 10% owner of the company buy stock this past week. Harbinger Group purchased 17,067 shares of the stock at $94.10 each. The total for the buy came to $1.6 million. Spectrum Brands sells consumer products worldwide. Shares were trading at $93.86 at Friday’s close.

CARBO Ceramics Inc. (NYSE: CRR) is a top oil field services stock that has been tagged brutally hard over the past six months. In a good sign for shareholders, a director at the company bought 19,861 shares of the stock at prices between $38.29 and $39.26. The total buy came to $770,000. The stock ended the week at $36.95 a share.

Lowes Corp. (NYSE: L) is another blue chip name that saw buying this past week. One director picked up 10,000 shares of the stock at $42.38 apiece. The total buy came to about $424,000. Lowes operates primarily as a commercial property and casualty insurance company, but it also owns and operates approximately 14,195 miles of interconnected natural gas pipelines. Shares were trading at $42.35 at the end of Friday’s session.

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These stocks also saw some insider buying this week: Alico Inc. (NASDAQ: ALCO), Datawatch Corp. (NASDAQ: DWCH), MDU Resources Group Inc. (NYSE: MDU), PennantPark Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: PNNT) and Tuesday Morning Corp. (NASDAQ: TUES).

With insiders of quality companies scooping up shares at bargain levels, the overall outlook for the market seems good, at least for now. While we may have bumps in the road in the year ahead, the overall outlook is still positive for equities.