Investing

Huge Insider Buying in Media by Warren Buffett and More

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Yet again, the Oracle of Omaha has bolstered his stake in a media giant’s tracking stocks, even with shares in retreat. However, the largest insider purchase reported in the past week was part of a massive deal to take an entertainment giant private and launch a new media company. Plus, the fintech, biotech, and oil companies insiders were focused on.

A well-known adage reminds us that corporate insiders and 10% owners really only buy shares of a company because they believe the stock price will rise and they want to profit from it. Thus, insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors. This is all the more so during times of uncertainty in the markets, and even when markets are near all-time highs.

Remember that even with a new earnings-reporting season starting up, some insiders are prohibited from buying or selling shares. Below are some of the more notable insider purchases that were reported in the second week of April.

Endeavor Group

insider buying
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A massive deal to go private and launch something new.
  • Buyer(s): Executive Chair Patrick Whitesell
  • Total shares: more than 1.6 million
  • Price per share: $89.01
  • Total cost: over $146.2 million

This transaction is part of a deal to take Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: EDR) private and launch a new media company. This Beverly Hill-based entertainment company owns and operates sports properties such as WWE and UFC and events including New York Fashion Week. Silver Lake is buying out the company for $13 billion, or $27.50 per share, and providing funding for Whitesell’s new venture. Whitesell is also a big shareholder of Silver Lake, and the deal includes Endeavor subsidiary, TKO Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: TKO). Endeavor stock is up more than 11% year to date, and TKO is over 19% higher in that time.

Liberty Media

insider buying
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Warren Buffet comes back for more.
  • Buyer(s): 10% owner Berkshire Hathaway
  • Total shares: more than 2.4 million
  • Price per share: $26.62 to $28.10
  • Total cost: around $66.4 million

After scooping up about $258 million worth of Liberty Media Corp. (NASDAQ: LSXMK) stock recently, Berkshire Hathaway has increased its stake in the holding company again to around 67.9 million shares. The series C shares were last seen trading below that purchase price range, and the share price is down almost 11% since the beginning of the year. Note that Liberty Media and Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) plan to merge, and Liberty Media recently completed an acquisition of its own. And note as well that Buffett has sold some of his Apple and all of four other stocks.

More Liberty Media

Warren Buffett insider buying
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Buffett is still buying into Sirius XM satellite radio.
  • Buyer(s): 10% owner Berkshire Hathaway
  • Total shares: more than 1.1 million
  • Price per share: $26.65 to $28.10
  • Total cost: nearly $30.7 million

Buffett also has increased the stake in Liberty Media Corp. (NASDAQ: LSXMA) again to almost 33.9 million shares. This after picking up over $110 million worth a couple of weeks ago. The shares of this holding company were last seen trading below the purchase price range, after retreating about 15% in the past month. As mentioned above, Liberty Media and Sirius XM are in the process of merging, and Liberty Media is scheduled to post its first-quarter results in early May.

Surrozen

insider buying
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A big buy from the board.
  • Buyer(s): Executive Chair Tim Kutzkey
  • Total shares: over 193,500
  • Price per share: $15.50
  • Total cost: nearly $3.0 million

Clinical stage biotechnology company Surrozen Inc. (NASDAQ: SRZN) says it is pioneering a new class of targeted regenerative antibodies to repair a broad range of tissues and restore organs damaged by serious disease. Besides being a director, the buyer is a beneficial owner, and this purchase was part of a private placement of shares of common stock and pre-funded warrants to purchase shares of common stock. Shares took a hit afterward but are still up about 16% year to date. One of the two analysts who cover the stock recommends buying shares, and their price targets range from $7.50 to $33.00.

Riley Permian

insider buying
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Look who’s bucking a selling trend.
  • Buyer(s): 10% owner Alvin G. Libin
  • Total shares: 75,000
  • Price per share: $27.00
  • Total cost: more than $2.0 million

While other insiders have been selling shares, this owner bucked the trend. He purchased the Riley Exploration Permian Inc. (NYSE: REPX) shares from a subsidiary of Balmon Investments, where Libin is the chief executive. The transaction was part of a public offering of common stock by the company and certain shareholders. The Oklahoma City-based company just declared a dividend of $0.36 a share, the same as the prior payout, and announced a May 8 date for its first-quarter earnings report. The stock is up more than 8% and trading above the offering price. The $50.25 consensus price target signals nearly 70% upside in the coming year.

Pagaya Technologies

insider buying
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Insiders show this struggling fintech some love.
  • Buyer(s): CEO Gal Krubiner and others
  • Total shares: about 194,800
  • Price per share: $10.16 to $10.58
  • Total cost: around $2.0 million

These officers and directors picked up Pagaya Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: PGY) shares for less than the $12.70 price of last month’s public offering of stock. Also note that this New York City-based fintech company had a 1-for-12 reverse stock split last month. Split adjusted, the stock is down almost 31% since the beginning of the year and trading in the neighborhood of its post-IPO low. However, shares were last seen changing hands for more than the purchase price range above. The consensus price target is all the way up at $37.71, and analysts on average recommend buying the shares.

And Other Insider Buying

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Some smaller insider buying at GameStop and others.

In the past week or so, some insider buying was reported at America’s Car-Mart, GameStop, Lennar, Rocket Companies, SentinelOne, and Semtech as well.

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