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Huge Sprint Trades Highlight Insider Buying: SunEdison, Under Armour, ConocoPhillips and More

In what was one of the toughest weeks for investors in the past year, the market got absolutely hammered on concerns over everything from a global slowdown to interest rates increasing. The bottom line is the sell-off is long overdue, and it may prove to be the pause that refreshes. One thing is for sure, executives and 10% owners were out in full force buying this past week.

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 and 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.

Here are some of the companies that reported insider buying last week.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) had a major 10% holder come in and really add shares of the carrier this past week. Softbank bought an incredible 16,798,538 shares at prices that ranged from $3.90 to $4.74. The total for this gigantic purchase came to a stunning $72.7 million. The company returned later in the week and bought an additional 14,670,814 shares at prices between $4.63 and $4.97 apiece. The total for the second huge purchase was $70.1 million. Shares of the stock were trading on Friday’s close at $4.71, so the overall timing looks good.

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Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) has been mauled over the past year, and a director at the company stepped up to the plate in a big way. That director purchased a massive 1 million share block of the stock at $9.94 per share. The total for the buy came to $9.9 million. Freeport-McMoRan is a natural resource company that engages in the acquisition of mineral assets and oil and natural gas resources. It primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, silver and other metals, as well as oil and gas. Shares closed trading on Friday at $9.58.

Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX) had a director emeritus at the medical devices company buying stock this past week. That director purchased a block of 100,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $17.27 to $17.59. The total for the purchase came to $1.7 million. The company’s self-expanding stent system — Innova Vascular — recently won marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The stock ended the day Friday at $16.35.

Emerge Energy Services L.P. (NYSE: EMES) had a 10% owner of the company come in and make a solid purchase last week. Insight Equity Management bought 210,000 shares of the stock at prices that fell between $16.36 and $17.75. The total for the buy came to $3.6 million. The company acquires, owns, operates and develops a portfolio of energy service assets in the United States. Shares ended the week at $13.55, sharply lower than the buy.

First Marblehead Corp. (NYSE: FMD) had a 10% owner adding to a position this past week. John Risley bought a whopping 663,956 shares at prices that ranged from $4.14 to $4.15 apiece. The total for the buy came to $2.8 million. This specialty finance company, together with its subsidiaries, focuses on the education financing marketplace in the United States. It provides loan programs on behalf of its lender clients for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for college graduates seeking to refinance private education loan obligations. The stock was trading at $3.76 on Friday’s close.

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These companies also reported insider buying this past week: ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), Patriot National Inc. (NYSE: PN), SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) and Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA).

We are starting to see some significant and consistent buying in energy, which may be a sign that the sector is very close to a trough. With oil trading at six-and-a-half-year lows, seeing buyers at this level is a very positive sign for long-term investors looking to initiate or add positions.