Massive Energy Trades Highlight Recent Insider Buying

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When a sector gets ugly, one of the first things Wall Street looks for is big buyers at much reduced price levels. Investors following the huge energy sell-off may have been very encouraged last week, as not only did one company lead the insider buying in the sector, but two other high-profile energy and oil services stocks also made the top five purchases.

We cover insider buying every week at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind our readers that while insider buying is usually a very positive sign, it is not in of itself a reason to run out and buy a stock. Sometimes insiders and 10% owners have stock purchase plans set up at intervals to add to their holdings. That aside, it still remains a positive indicator.

These are the companies that reported notable insider buying this week.

CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) had a very-high profile 10% owner who really backed up the truck to the buy window. David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital bought 6,669,127 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $16.74 to $17.52 apiece. The total for the gigantic purchase came to $113.7 million. The company operates as an integrated energy company in the United States and internationally. Shares were trading on Friday at $17.41.

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Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) had the founder of the company and an energy legend buying stock last week. Richard Kinder bought a 100,000-share block of the company’s stock at $34.97 per share. The total for the trade came to $3,497,440. He has added to his already substantial position in the company as the stock price has drifted down and has hit our screens before in the past 90 days. Kinder Morgan operates as an energy infrastructure and energy company in North America. Its shares were trading on Friday at $35.11

Horsehead Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: ZINC) also had a 10% owner of the company’s stock buying shares this past week. Dalal Street bought 581,393 shares of the stock at prices between $7.82 and $8.01. The total for the buy came to $4.6 million. The company produces and sells zinc and nickel-based products, primarily in the United States and Canada. The stock was trading on Friday at $8.19.

Global Power Equipment Group Inc. (NASDAQ: GLPW) had a 10% owner adding to its position. Wynnefield Partners Small Cap Value purchased 377,057 shares at prices that ranged in price from $6.14 to $6.20. The total for the buy came to $2.3 million. The company provides custom engineered equipment and modification and maintenance services in the across the globe. The stock was trading on Friday at $6.43.

Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) is an oil field services giant that saw insider buying this past week. A director at the company bought 5,000 shares of the stock at $83.82, for a total price of $419,000. Schlumberger is the world’s largest energy services company and it supplies technology, integrated project management and information solutions to the oil and gas exploration and production industries worldwide. The stock was trading on Friday at $83.74.

Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC) had a C suite member of the company buying shares last week. CEO Thomas Gallagher scooped up 4,000 shares of the stock at $87.71 apiece. That cost him $351,000. Genuine Parts distributes automotive replacement parts, industrial replacement parts, office products and electrical/electronic materials in the North America, Australia and the Caribbean region. The stock was trading on Friday at $87.32.

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These additional companies also reported insider buying this week: Hawaiian Telecom Holdco Inc. (NASDAQ: HCOM), IDI Inc. (NYSE: IDI), Lawson Products (NASDAQ: LAWS), Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLS) and SunCoke Energy Inc. (NYSE: SXC).

Energy investors should feel a little encouragement seeing some trades in the sector starting to hit. While it could be a long slow march back, this big buying could start to represent a trough in the sector.