Insider Buying Steady as Earnings Season Begins to Wind Down

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With a third of the year in the books, the very up and down stock market is poised to wind up the first-quarter earnings reports. That also means that insider activity will start to heat up as windows that have been shut during the reporting season start to open up. Despite the recent volatility, and pretty sluggish overall market action, all the indexes remain near record highs, which could inspire some big trades this month and beyond.

We cover insider buying every week at 24/7 Wall St. and despite the markets clinging to levels near all-time highs, insider buying has remained reasonably consistent year to date. We continue to monitor sectors like energy, looking for trends and buyers taking advantage of price irregularities.

Here are companies that reported notable insider buying this past week:

Ultratech Inc. (NASDAQ: UTEK) had a very influential 10% owner buying more stock this week. Dallas-based Carlson Capital bought a large 483,000 share block of the semiconductor capital equipment company. The firm bought shares at prices that ranged from $17.22 to $19.52. The total for the buy came to a sizable $8.08 million. Shares were trading at Friday’s close at $20.39, so a very well-timed buy indeed.

Radius Health Inc. (NASDAQ: RDUS) had a 10% owner of the company come in and add to its position this week. A company called Biotech Growth bought a 100,000 share block of the stock at prices that ranged from $36.59 to $38.38. The total for the buy came to $3.75 million. Radius Health is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutics for patients with osteoporosis and other serious endocrine-mediated diseases. Shares closed trading on Friday at $36.58.

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Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC) had a director at the company buying stock this past week. That director purchased a block of 10,000 shares at $39.95 apiece. The total for the buy was right at $400,000. The company designs, sells, installs and services security, fire detection, suppression and life safety products worldwide. Shares ended the week at $39.63.

Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is another company that had a director buying stock this week. The director at the insurance giant purchased 2,000 shares of the company stock at $103.06 per share. The total for the buy came to $216,000. The stock closed trading Friday at $102.12.

Peoples Financial Services Corp. (NASDAQ: PFIS) continued the trend of directors buying stock when one bought a 5,000-share block of the stock at $41.08 per share. The total for the purchase came to $205,000. Peoples Financial Services operates as the bank holding company for Peoples Security Bank and Trust Company, which provides commercial and retail banking services primarily in Northeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New York. The stock was changing hands at $39.75 at the end of trading on Friday.

These companies also reported insider buying this week: ADTRAN Inc. (NASDAQ: ADTN), Dana Holding Corp. (NYSE: DAN), Logitech International S.A. (NASDAQ: LOGI) and Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE).

While hardly a huge volume week, things are starting to perk up again. Watch for much higher numbers, as May and June will see windows opening back up for insiders at major companies.

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