Carl Icahn Trades Highlight Huge Insider Buying: Hertz, Cheniere Energy, Wynn Resorts, Energy Transfer and More

In a week when the market backed up on a crumbling oil market, insiders came out in full force to use the selling as an opportunity. Jefferies reported this week that crude oil has traded under the 200-day moving average for 342 days and counting. That is the longest downtrend is history, and it is approaching the largest percentage decline. Apparently it has the insiders lining up to buy in a big way.

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 this week:

Cheniere Energy Inc. (NYSE: LNG) had one of Wall Street’s biggest activist investors, who is a 10% owner, adding to his position. Carl Icahn bought an additional 2,781,694 shares of the company at prices that ranged from $40.96 to $44.29 per share. The total for the buy was a staggering $120.3 million. The stock closed trading on Friday at $41.31.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) was also visited by Icahn, who continues adding to his position. He is already a 10% owner of the company and bought an additional 11,786,678 shares at $14.23 apiece. The total for the purchase was a whopping $63.7 million. The stock was trading on Friday’s close at $14.32.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NYSE: WYNN) had the man with his name on the casino resort buying stock this past week. Steve Wynn picked up a total of 1,003,977 shares of the stock at prices between $61.77 and $64.50. The total for the buy was an incredible $63,860,142. The company operates Wynn Macau and Encore at Wynn Macau resort located in the People’s Republic of China. Wynn also owns the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas resort, with a total of 4,748 hotel rooms, suites and villas. The stock ended the week at $63.13.

Energy Transfer Equity L.P. (NYSE: ETE) had a very influential insider buying shares last week. Kelcy Warren, the company’s CEO and chairman, bought a massive block of 2 million shares of the stock at a price of $16.07 apiece. The total for the purchase came to a gigantic $32,133,658. Note that the shares were changing hands at $13.35 on Friday’s close.

These additional companies also reported insider buying this week: Aircastle Ltd. (NYSE: AYR), Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD), NGL Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: NGL), NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) and Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP).

As one can see, the long and deep energy sell-off has brought many 10% owners and executives out to the buy desk. The insider buying volume swamped selling this week, and a large majority of the trades were beaten down energy companies. This may signal a beginning of a bottom for the sector.

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