With first-quarter earnings winding down, but still in the process, the windows for insiders remain closed for the most part, so we had another week of lower volumes. However, with May right around the corner, we can expect those trading restrictions to come off. The question is, with the markets once again at all-time highs, will the buyers return?
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 remains an overall positive indicator.
Here are some of the companies that reported notable insider buying last week.
CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) saw the man in charge of one of the nation’s biggest railroads buying shares last week. CEO Hunter Harrison bought some 300,000 shares the company’s stock at a reported share price of $50.20. The total for the buy was posted at a sizable $15 million. The stock closed Friday at $51.84, so a pretty bullish sign for shareholders with buying at the top. The 52-week trading range for the shares is $24.43 to $51.06, and the Wall Street consensus price objective is $52.58.
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (NYSE: IFF) is another company that hit our screens, with a 10% institutional owner buying stock several times last week. Winder Investment purchased an additional 70,600 shares in three separate purchases. At prices between $134.54 and $138.40 a share, the total for the three trades was a huge $12 million. The shares closed Friday at $138.59, so some impetus for the firm to keep adding to its already huge position. The 52-week range for the shares is $113.16 to $143.64. The posted consensus price target is $131.73.
Mattel Inc. (NYSE: MAT) had a director at the company buying shares this past week. That director bought a total of 47,000 shares of the toy and game maker at prices that ranged from $21.84 to $22.02. The total for the buy was set at $1 million. The stock closed Friday $22.42. The stock has sold off recently, so this is a positive for shareholders. The 52-week range is $21.54 to $34.24, and the consensus price target is $30.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is another stock that has been hit hard, and a director at the iconic industrial was also buying shares last week. The board member picked up a block of 20,000 shares at $29.90 apiece. The total for the buy was posted at $600,000. Though shares closed Friday at $28.99, it is another positive sign for beleaguered shareholders. The 52-week range is $28.19 to $33, and the consensus price target is $32.57.
Texas Capital Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: TCBI) is another company that had the CEO buying stock last week. Keith Cargill picked up 5,000 shares of the bank at prices that ranged from $73.25 to $73.64. The total for the purchase was $400,000. The stock closed Friday at $76.10, so the timing looks good. The 52-week range is $41.47 to $93.35, and the consensus price objective is $88.06.
These companies also reported insider buying last week: Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA), Conn’s Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN) Syntel Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNT) and Triumph Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: TBK).
While the numbers were somewhat sparse this coming week, the window for transactions soon will be wide open. It will be interesting to see if top executives and 10% institutional owners decide to buy more stock, or “sell in May, and go away.”