Massive Biotech Insider Buy Highlights Volatile Trading Week: Acadia, Conn's, William Lyon, Summit Midstream and More

In a week that was eerily reminiscent of the first six weeks of 2016, the market took investors on a crazy ride that finally came to an end on Friday. Triple-digit up and down days were once again the norm, and that is a stat that makes many on Wall Street a little queasy. Despite the fact that first-quarter earnings will come in big next week, some serious insider buying hit the tape.

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 past week.

Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD) had a big biotech player buying stock last week. A director at the company, biotech hedge fund the Baker Brothers, bought a total of 1,449,090 shares at prices that ranged from $25.94 to $28.52. The total for the big-time purchase came in at a whopping $39 million. The stock was up huge on news that the FDA’s advisory committee of outside experts voted in favor of giving Nuplazid the green light by a 12 to two margin. The committee stated that it believed the potential benefits of using Nuplazid as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease psychosis outweighed the compound’s potential risks. The shares closed trading on Friday at $31.78, so solid timing, it would appear.

William Lyon Homes (NYSE: WLH) had a 10% owner of the company adding to a position. GMT Capital bought an additional 1,155,619 shares of the stock at prices between $14.21 and $14.27 apiece. The total for the buy came to $16 million. The company designs, constructs, markets and sells single-family detached and attached homes in California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Washington and Oregon. The stock closed Friday at $15.17.

Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: MFRM) hits the 24/7 Wall St. insider screens yet again as 10% owner Berkshire Partners continues to buy the stock. This past week the company purchased a total of 155,067 shares of the stock at prices between $41.63 and $41.85. The total for the buy came in right at $6.5 million. The stock ended the week at $41.86.

Conn’s Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN) also had a 10% owner buying shares last week. Stephens Investments bought a block of 250,000 shares of the retailer at $12.35 per share. The total for the buy came in at $3 million. Conn’s operates as a specialty retailer of durable consumer goods and related services in the United States. Its shares closed Friday at $10.93, so the buy looks a little early.

Summit Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: SMLP) also hits our screens once again, as it did so many times during the first quarter. A director at the company, Energy Capital Partners, bought a total of 183,115 shares at prices that ranged from $15.70 to $16.24. The total for the buy was $3 million. The company focuses on owning, developing and operating midstream energy infrastructure assets, primarily in shale formations in North America. Insiders at all levels of the company have been buying this stock. The shares closed Friday at $17.22.

These additional companies also reported insider buying this week: Actuant Corp, (NYSE: ATU), Ambac Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBC), Clayton Williams Energy Inc. (NYSE: CWEI), Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) and PHI Inc. (NASDAQ: PHII).

While the volume slowed some during the turbulent weak, the buyers still came in. Things could slow even more as corporate windows close for transactions during the earnings season.

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