Buffett Grabs More of This Stock, Plus Other Notable Insider Buying

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At the end of the previous week, the Oracle of Omaha yet again boosted his stake in a media giant’s tracking stocks, even with shares still in retreat. Meanwhile, a couple of industrials and a couple of biotechs also saw notable insider purchases made in the past week. Overall, insider buying has slowed.

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 now with a new earnings-reporting season underway, some insiders are prohibited from buying or selling shares. Below are some of the more notable insider purchases that were reported in the past week or so.

Liberty Media

insider buying
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Warren Buffet comes back for more.
  • Buyer(s): 10% owner Berkshire Hathaway
  • Total shares: more than 1.3 million
  • Price per share: $25.36 to $26.55
  • Total cost: over $29.3 million

After scooping up more than $66 million worth of Liberty Media Corp. (NASDAQ: LSXMK) stock the prior week, Berkshire Hathaway has increased its stake in the holding company again to around 69.0 million shares. The series C shares were last seen trading below that purchase price range, and the share price is down about 15% 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.

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: around 803,900
  • Price per share: $25.41 to $26.66
  • Total cost: more than $20.8 million

Buffett also has increased the stake in Liberty Media Corp. (NASDAQ: LSXMA) again to almost 34.7 million shares. This after picking up almost $31 million worth recently. The shares of this holding company were last seen trading below the purchase price range, after retreating more than 14% 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. And check out seven dividend monsters that Warren Buffett cannot get enough of.

Acrivon Therapeutics

insider buying
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Biopharmaceutical company gets a boost.
  • Buyer(s): 10% owner Perceptive Advisors
  • Total shares: more than 2.3 million
  • Price per share: $8.50
  • Total cost: around $20.0 million

Shares of Acrivon Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ACRV) recently got a boost on news that the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company received $130 million in funding. The company also has appointed a new chief medical officer and two new board members this year. The stock is up over 114% since the beginning of the year to well above the buyer’s purchase price. Most of that gain followed the funding news. The $19.44 mean price target suggests additional upside of 84% or so in the coming year, and the consensus recommendation is to buy shares. Note that the buyer also recently acquired shares of Aldeyra Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ALDX).

UL Solutions

insider buying
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IPO creates insider buying frenzy.
  • Buyer(s): CEO Jennifer Scanlon and many others
  • Total shares: more than 590,600
  • Price per share: $28.00
  • Total cost: over $16.5 million

These insiders bought into the UL Solutions Inc. (NYSE: ULS) initial public offering. Scanlon’s acquisition alone totaled about $2.5 million. The post-IPO excitement has worn off in the past week, but shares of this global safety science firm were last seen trading for almost $34 apiece, still well above the IPO price. The company dates back to 1894 and was known for much of its history as Underwriters Laboratories. Among other things, it performs safety testing for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


insider buying
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These insiders bought too soon?
  • Buyer(s): 10% owner Broadway Partners and other insiders
  • Total shares: almost 2.5 million
  • Price per share: $2.91 to $2.95
  • Total cost: over $7.1 million

Molecular diagnostics company OncoCyte Corp. (NASDAQ: OCX) just posted fourth-quarter results that fell short on the top and bottom lines. The stock has pulled back almost 25% in the past 90 days to less than the purchase price range above. So far, the share price is still above the 52-week low of $2.08. The consensus price target is up at $3.90, but shares have changed hands for as much as $6.20 in the past year. Two of the four analysts who follow the stock still recommend buying shares. Note that CEO Josh Riggs purchased almost 3,400 of the shares of the total above.

GrafTech International

insider buying
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A proxy fight in the works?
  • Buyer(s): 10% owner Colonial House Capital
  • Total shares: around 2.3 million
  • Price per share: $1.78
  • Total cost: about $4.1 million

GrafTech International Ltd. (NYSE: EAF) has an upcoming annual shareholders meeting and has seen pressure from an activist investor. The board of the graphite and carbon-based products producer named a new chief executive last month. Shares are down more than 32% year to date to less than the purchase price above and well below the 52-week high of $5.32. The consensus price target is just $1.75, and only one of three analysts who follow the stock recommends buying shares.

And Other Insider Buying

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Some smaller insider buying at Walgreens and others.

In the past week or so, some insider buying was reported at AES, America’s Car-Mart, Federal Agricultural Mortgage, Lovesac, Neogen, Rocket Companies, RXO, SAIC, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and WD-40 as well.

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