Insider Buying Skyrockets as Holiday Week Approaches: Sears, Cigna, Vanda Pharmaceuticals and More

With the Christmas holiday just a week away, the big insiders at major companies around Wall Street are doing some early shopping for themselves, taking advantage of what has been a very lackluster year on Wall Street. With all the indexes down except the Nasdaq, prices are looking good to top executives and institutional buyers.

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 by 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 past week.

Crestwood Equity Partners L.P. (NYSE: CEQP) had a 10% buyer scooping up shares this past week. First Reserve GP XI bought a total of 756,321 shares of the stock at prices between $13.60 and $18.77. The total for the buy came to $12.7 million. The company provides midstream solutions to customers in the crude oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas sectors of the energy industry in the United States. The stock was trading on Friday’s close at $16.49.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VNDA) had a 10% owner come in last week and add a big purchase to its position. Deerfield Management bought a whopping 1,201,364 shares at prices that ranged from $8.00 to $8.99 apiece. The total for the trade came to $10.1 million. Vanda focuses on the development and commercialization of products for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. Shares closed trading on Friday at $9.36, so the timing looks good.

Cigna Inc.

(NYSE: CI) had a director at the health care giant buying shares this past week. That director acquired a total of 8,820 shares of the stock at prices between $139.32 and $139.56 per share. The total for the buy came to $1.2 million. The shares ended trading on Friday at $143.97, so an outstanding buy.

Prospect Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: PSEC) saw its top C Suite executives buying stock last week. The CEO, CFO and COO bought a total of 517,500 shares at prices between $6.21 and $6.38. That cost them $3.3 million altogether. Prospect Capital is a business development company. It specializes in middle market, mature, mezzanine finance, later stage, emerging growth, buyouts, recapitalizations, turnaround, growth capital, development, subordinated debt tranches of collateralized loan obligations, cash flow term loans and bridge transactions. The stock closed trading on Friday at $6.64, so some decent timing.

Summit Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: SMLP) is another energy company that saw an insider buying stock this past week. A 10% owner, Energy Capital Partners II, bought a total of 75,277 shares at prices that ranged from $15.76 to $16.49. The total for the purchase came to $1.2 million. The company provides natural gas gathering, treating and processing services. Shares ended the week at $15.25.

These companies also reported insider buying last week: Aircastle Ltd. (NYSE: AYR), Intrexon Corp. (NYSE: XON), Medivation Inc. (NASDAQ: MDVN), NuStar Energy L.P. (NYSE: NS) and Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD).

One interesting tidbit in this week’s trading was all the energy stocks that are showing up. It’s clear many insiders feel the bottom is close and now is the time to buy shares.

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