Insider Buying Slows as Earnings Season Heats Up: Lands' End, Monsanto, AZZ and More
As we have mentioned recently, the volume in insider activity was bound to slow as we got to the third-quarter earnings. The earnings season officially kicked off this week, and the slowing that we expected has started to show up. Typically major corporations close transaction windows before and after earnings are reported to remove any sense of impropriety when executives, director and other insiders trade.
We cover insider buying each 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 an overall positive indicator.
Here are some of the companies that reported notable insider buying last week.
A well-known Lands’ End Inc. (NASDAQ: LE) investor was buying shares last week. Edward Lampert actually made two purchases of shares of the company. In the first trade he bought 81,001 shares at prices that ranged from $14.98 to $15. The total for the buy was posted at $1.2 million. Later in the week he bought an additional 255,436 shares at between $14.89 and $15.00. The total for that purchase was $4 million.
The company operates as a multi-channel retailer via two segments, Direct and Retail. It offers casual clothing, accessories, footwear and home products. The company sells its products through its websites, direct mail catalogs, dedicated Lands’ End Shops at Sears, stand-alone Lands’ End Inlet stores, and international shop-in-shops. Shares closed Friday at $15.23.
Agricultural chemical giant Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) had one of its directors buying shares last week. That director bought 3,500 shares of the company at $103.23 apiece. The total for the buy was posted at $400,000.
The company is being purchased by German mega-cap Bayer, which has finalized the syndication of a $57 billion bridge loan, which the company secured to fund its $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto. Shares of Monsanto ended last week at $102.11.
The man at the top was buying AZZ Inc. (NYSE: AZZ) shares last week. CEO Thomas Ferguson picked up a block of 7,500 shares of the company at $55.24 a share. The total for the purchase was set at $400,000.
The company provides galvanizing services, welding solutions, specialty electrical equipment and engineered services to the power generation, transmission, distribution and industrial markets. Its share price at the close last Friday was $54.60.
An institutional investor purchased a ton of EnSyn Inc. (NYSE: ESNC) shares in the past week. Melodious International Investment Group bought a total of 667,316 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $0.98 to $1.14. The total or the purchase was $700,000.
The company develops, manufactures, licenses and sells energy management systems solutions in the United States and internationally. Shares closed Friday at $1.18.
Ion Geophysical Corp. (NYSE: IO) had a director at the company purchasing shares. That director bought a total of 19,600 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $6.57 to $6.78. The total for the trade was posted at $100,000.
ION Geophysical provides geoscience technology, services and solutions for the oil and gas industry worldwide. It operates through four segments: Solutions, Systems, Software and Ocean Bottom Services. The shares closed Friday at $6.00.
These companies also reported insider buying last week: Chubb Ltd. (NYSE: CB), Landmark Infrastructure L.P. (NASDAQ: LMRK), Tiptree Financial Inc. (NASDAQ: TIPT), Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) and Vishay Precision Group Inc. (NYSE: VPG).
While things are slowing, they won’t stop, and you can bet that after earnings are over and the presidential election is settled, we will have a ton of activity from insiders, both buying and selling.