Investing

Huge Energy Trade Kicks Off 2017 Insider Buying: DCP Midstream, Och-Ziff Capital, TransEnterix, Amicus Therapeutics and More

After what seemed to be an interminable year, 2016 finally closed out and we completed the first week of trading for 2017. The same top goal was in place for the market again last week: the race to 20,000 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The markets zig-zagged back and forth all week as investors prepared for fourth-quarter earnings results, which will start in earnest this week.

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.

DCP Midstream Partners

DCP Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: DPM) bought a massive amount of its own stock. The company is acquiring the assets of DCP Midstream LLC, a joint venture of Houston-based Phillips 66 and Spectra Energy, to simplify the company’s organizational structure. The combined company will have an enterprise value of $11 billion, making it the largest natural gas gathering and processing master limited partnership (MLP) in the United States.

The company acquired 28,552,480 shares of the stock at a reported share price of $36.17. The total for the acquisition was a stunning $1,032,743,202. The Wall Street consensus price target for the company is $36.07, but the shares closed last Friday above that at $36.97. The 52-week trading range is $15.09 to $39.49

TransEnterix

A huge 10% owner of TransEnterix Inc. (NYSE: TRXC) came in and bought more shares last week. SOFAR SpA added 3,722,685 more shares of the medical device company’s stock at a reported $1.40 apiece. The total for the trade was posted at $5,226,650.

The company offers ALF-X System, a multiport robotic surgery system, which allows up to four arms to control robotic instruments and a camera, in Europe. The company also develops SurgiBot System, a single-incision, patient-side robotic-assisted surgery system. In addition, it develops and manufactures flexible and rigid laparoscopic surgical instruments that are used in abdominal surgery, such as scissors, graspers, clip appliers and suction and irrigation instruments.

The shares traded at $1.50 on Friday’s close, in a 52-week range of $1.03 to $6.10. The consensus price target is $3.45.

Och-Ziff Capital Management

A 10% owner also added to its Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (NYSE: OZM) position last week. Abrams Capital Management bought a total of 932,620 shares at a listed price of $3.23. The total for the buy was reported at $3,009,378.

The firm provides investment advisory services for its clients. It primarily caters to institutional investors that include pension funds, fund-of-funds, foundations and endowments, corporations and other institutions, private banks and family offices. The firm also invests in equity and alternative markets across the world. It employs quantitative and qualitative analysis to make its investments.

Shares ended last week at $3.23, the same as the purchase price and near the consensus price target of $3.50. The 52-week trading range is $2.65 to $5.99.

Versartis

Versartis Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAR) was another firm that had a 10% owner adding to its holdings. Perceptive Advisors bought an additional 84,750 shares of the company at $14.66 apiece. The total for the purchase was posted at $1,388,846.

This endocrine-focused biopharmaceutical company is developing VRS-317, a long-acting recombinant human growth hormone, which is in Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of growth hormone deficiency. It develops drug candidates that it has licensed from Amunix Operating.

The shares traded Friday at $16.20, so a solid buy it would appear. The 52-week range is $6.17 to $16.30, and the consensus price objective is a whopping $25.71.

Amicus Therapeutics

Perceptive Advisors was buying shares of Amicus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FOLD) last week. The 10% owner purchased an additional 94,750 shares of this biopharmaceutical company at $4.96 per share. The total for the buy was $500,000.

Amicus Therapeutics focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of medicines for various rare and orphan diseases. Its principal product is the migalastat HCl, a small molecule, which has completed Phase 3 studies that can be used as a monotherapy and in combination with enzyme replacement therapy for Fabry disease.

The stock closed at $5.78 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $4.41 to $9.83. The consensus price target is $10.94.

These companies also reported insider buying last week: Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ: CDZI), Infinity Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: INFI), Medley Capital Corp. (NYSE: MCC), Spark Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: SPKE) and Tecogen Inc. (NASDAQ: TGEN).

Also check out last week’s biggest insider sales in Google, Adobe Systems, Charles Schwab and more.

The volume has started to dry up as we get closer to the fourth-quarter earnings reports, and as usual, it could stay low most of the month of January. With earnings expected to be solid, it will prove interesting to see what insiders are doing next month.