Massive Energy Insider Buying Highlights Roller-Coaster Market Week

With triple digit up and down days all week long, many investors may feel like they have come to an amusement park and are caught on a ride that won’t stop. Typically, in the past, this kind of market action has been a harbinger of steep drop in the markets. You sure wouldn’t guess that by the sheer number of insiders that continue to buy their own companies’ shares.

We cover insider buying every week at 24/7 Wall St., and one interesting, and possibly very bullish sign we are seeing is insiders in the energy sector starting to grab shares of beaten down stocks. While the energy debacle could have some time to go, the fact that insiders are nibbling more than a little is a good sign.

Here are this past week’s top insider buying reports.

Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE: DO) is one of the energy stocks we were referring to. The stock has been absolutely crushed over the past year. Shareholders will be glad to know that a major 10% owner bought two massive blocks of the stock. Loews acquired 685,373 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $26.52 to $27.24, for a total buy of a staggering $18.2 million, which was reported on Monday. Loews bought an additional 218,781 shares at prices between $26.40 and $26.63. The total of that purchase came to $5.8 million. The shares ended trading on Friday at $27.68, so they may have tagged a price point near the bottom.

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Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) is another high-profile energy company that had somebody right at the top buying stock. Rich Kinder, the CEO and founder of the company and a respected master limited partnership (MLP) maverick, purchased 100,000 shares of the stock at $39.50 apiece. The total for the purchase came in right at $4 million. Kinder Morgan shares closed trading on Friday at $42.12, so a well-timed and significant insider buy.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) had a director of the firm make a solid purchase of the bank’s stock last week. That director bought 22,000 shares of the stock at $95.84 apiece, for a total buy of $2.1 million. The stock has had a big year, and this is a significant buy at these levels and very bullish. The stock ended the week at $95.97.

Taubman Centers Inc. (NYSE: TCO) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that engages in the ownership, management, leasing, acquisition, development and expansion of regional retail shopping centers. The chief executive officer and the chief operating officer are positive on the company and showed it by buying a combined 19,200 shares at prices that ranged from $77.42 to $78.61. The total for the buy came to a tidy $1.5 million. The shares were trading $80.53 at Friday’s closing bell, so a well-timed buy.

West Corp. (NASDAQ: WSTC) had a 10% owner of the stock step in and buy shares this week. West Investment Holdings picked up 95,065 shares of the company at $30.48 a share. The total for the buy came to $2.9 million. The company provides technology-enabled communication services in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia-Pacific, Latin America and South America. It operates in two segments, Unified Communications and Communication Services. The shares closed trading on Friday at $32.99, so another well-timed buy.

Regis Corp. (NYSE: RGS) had a director of the company make a significant buy this past week. That director bought 71,334 shares of the stock at $16.11 apiece. The total for the buy came to $1.1 million. Regis owns, operates and franchises hair styling and hair care salons for men, women and children in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Puerto Rico. The stock was trading at $16.09 as the week’s trading came to a close.

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These companies also reported insider purchases this week: Amtech Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ASYS), Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ: EGLE), Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC), Public Storage (NYSE: PSA) and Tallgrass Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: TEP).

We are keeping a close eye on the energy buyers, as this could be a significant statement of a bottom being put in. When a high-profile executive like Rich Kinder buys a sizable chunk of stock of one of the top rated MLPs on Wall Street, that is significant for investors.

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