Insider Buying Strong as Holiday Slows Trading: Prospect Capital, Guidance Software, comScore, Sears, Delta Air and More

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Needless to say, with Christmas and New Year’s on back-to-back Fridays this year, the trading volume has slowed to the proverbial crawl as traders and investors take a break to be with friends and family and celebrate. One thing is for sure, the insiders and 10% owners did some late shopping and continued to buy stock this past week at a furious pace.

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.

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

Crestwood Equity Partners L.P. (NYSE: CEQP) was on our 24/7 screens again this past week. A 10% owner of the company, First Reserve GP XI, bought an additional 504,214 shares at prices between $16.05 and $18.60 apiece. The total for the purchase came to $8.5 million. The company provides midstream solutions to customers in the crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids portions of the energy sector in the United States. Shares closed trading Thursday at $20.62, so it appears to be a well-timed buy.

Prospect Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: PSEC) also hit our screens for the second week running, and the buying pace picked up. Its chief executive and the chief operating officers bought a combined 820,000 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $6.74 to $6.78. The total ticket for their buys was $5.5 million. This business development company 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. Shares ended trading on Thursday at $7.29.


comScore Inc.

(NASDAQ: SCOR) also had a 10% owner of the company adding to a position last week. WPP bought a 120,000-share block of the stock at prices between $37.92 and $38.93 per share. The total for the buy came to $4.6 million. comScore provides digital media analytics products and services for content publishers, advertisers, advertising agencies and network operators, primarily in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The stock closed trading Thursday at $41.20, so another well-timed purchase.

Sears Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) saw its CEO, who is also a 10% owner, buying more stock this past week. As he has often this past year, Edward Lampert continues to bolster his large position in the stock, this time by adding an additional 192,433 shares of the iconic retailer at prices that ranged from $19.14 to $20.10. That cost him $3.8 million. The shares were trading most recently at $20.79.

Guidance Software Inc. (NASDAQ: GUID) was yet another company with a 10% owner acquiring shares last week. RGM Capital bought an additional 340,000 shares at $5.45 apiece. So the total for the purchase came to $1.8 million. The company provides digital investigative solutions in the United States, Europe, Asia and elsewhere. Shares ended the week at $5.98, and are down about 40% since August.

These companies also reported insider buying this week: Aircastle Inc. (NYSE: AYR), AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO), Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (NASDAQ: CETV), Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) and Upland Software Inc. (NASDAQ: UPLD).

Despite the traditionally slow holiday trading week, insiders continue to add to their holdings, and that’s a very positive indicator as we march towards 2016 and a new trading year.