In what had to be a welcome relief to investors, the stock market posted one of its best weeks of 2015 over the past five trading days, and now all the focus turns to third-quarter earnings. While insider buying remained consistent, it does appear that the windows for executives and 10% owners to buy and sell are starting to shut as earnings will start fast and furious come Monday.
We cover insider buying every week at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind 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.
Here are some of the companies that reported notable insider buying last week.
Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) continues to look more and more like a slow but sure buyout candidate as Japanese telecommunications and Internet giant Softbank, which is already a 10% owner of the company, continued with gigantic purchases of the carrier’s shares. Softbank purchased an additional 14,527,720 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $3.89 to $4.49. The total for this week’s buy came to a whopping $60.6 million. Sprint shares were trading on Friday’s close at $4.47.
Lands’ End Inc. (NASDAQ: LE) had a high-profile 10% owner buying more stock this week. Edward Lampert, who is becoming a regular member of the 24/7 Wall Street insider report, purchased 260,426 shares of the retailer at prices that ranged from $26.45 to $26.90 per share. The total for the purchase came to an even $7 million. The shares closed trading on Friday at $27.04.
Amicus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FOLD) had a 10% owner adding to a position this week. Perspective Advisors bought a 750,000 share block of the company’s stock at prices between $6.34 and $6.85 apiece. The total for the buy came to an even $5 million. This biopharmaceutical company develops and commercializes therapeutic products for rare and orphan diseases. The stock ended the week at $7.58, so it appears to be a well-timed buy.
West Corp. (NASDAQ: WSTC) had owners Gary and Mary West purchasing shares of the company this week. The pair bought a total of 132,112 shares at prices that ranged from $20.60 to $22.32. That cost them a tidy $3.2 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. The stock closed trading on Friday at $24.24, so here too a well-timed purchase.
Aircastle Ltd. (NYSE: AYR) makes another appearance on our insider trading screens. 10% owner Marubeni Corp. bought an additional 25,183 shares of the stock at $20.37 apiece. The total for the buy came to $513,000. Aircastle acquires, leases and sells commercial jet aircraft to airlines worldwide. The company also makes investments in various aviation assets, such as debt investments secured by commercial jet aircraft. Shares were trading on Friday’s close at $22.82, so another well-timed purchase.
These companies also reported insider buying last week: Conn’s Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN), Dorian LPG Ltd. (NYSE: LPG), Lawson Products Inc. (NASDAQ: LAWS), Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) and Support.com Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRT).
The usual earnings trend is getting ready to set in, and that means very subdued insider transactions as the windows to buy and sell are closed. The trend of very little selling is still in place, but a positive earnings season could change that if the market makes a substantial move higher.