Notable Insider Buys Of The Past Week: Conagra Brands Plus Plenty Of Biotech Activity

  • Insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors, especially when markets face uncertainty.
  • Insiders were taking advantage of secondary offerings as the new year settled in.
  • Biotech companies are well represented on this list of insider share purchases.

Conventional wisdom says that insiders and 10% owners really only buy shares of a company for one reason — they believe the stock price will rise and they want to profit from it. So insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors, particularly when there is uncertainty in the markets, as there has been due to the pandemic resurgence and political issues.

Here are some of the most noteworthy insider purchases that were reported in the past week.

Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Fate Therapeutics Inc FATE had a 10% owner increase its stake at a time when the chief executive and other officers were selling shares. The more than 327,400 shares acquired, at a public offering price of $85.50 apiece, added up to nearly $28.00 million. That raised that owner's stake to more than 12.95 million shares, compared to a total float of more than 85 million. Shares closed most recently at $113.59.

Biotech company Aldeyra Therapeutics Inc ALDX saw a 10% owner recently add 1.05 million shares to their stake. At $7.49 to $10.43 per share, the transactions totaled more than $9.20 million. The stock closed most recently at $13.37, which is above the purchase price range. Note that this Lexington, Massachusetts-based company also announced a secondary offering of shares at $9.50 apiece.

A director acquired nearly 33,900 DermTech Inc DMTK shares last week at a secondary offering price of $29.50 apiece. In the prior week, a 10% owner bought 200,000 shares at the same price. All these purchases added up to about $6.90 million. This diagnostics company said its non-invasive genomic patch testing for melanoma had received a recommendation from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The stock popped more than 12% in the week's trading and closed Friday at $39.00.

Board Chair Bryant Riley took advantage of a public offering to pick up 100,000 more B. Riley Financial Inc RILY shares. Along with over 21,000 shares bought by other insiders, at $46.00 each, those transactions totaled more than $5.59 million. Riley's stake was up to about 4.95 million shares. Shares of this Los Angeles-based financial services provider closed most recently at $49.68 apiece.

Mersana Therapeutics Inc MRSN saw a director indirectly acquire 250,000 shares. Prices ranged from $17.79 per share to $18.93. The transactions totaled about $4.59 million and raised his stake in this biopharmaceutical company to over 3.69 million shares. News of this buying helped boost the stock, which closed trading most recently at $21.09 per share.

Two directors at Generation Bio Co GBIO took advantage of a secondary offering to purchase almost 24,500 shares of this gene therapy developer last week. At a share price of $24.50, that cost them shy of $600,000 altogether. Note that three officers sold more than 34,000 shares altogether last week, too. The share price rose about 15% during the week to close at $32.17 on Friday.

And the Conagra Brands Inc CAG board chair, Richard Lenny, acquired 10,000 shares of this Chicago-based packaged foods company. At prices ranging from $33.65 to $33.71 per share, that cost that him almost $337,000. This purchase came in the wake of a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock ended last week fractionally lower and was last seen trading at $33.86 a share.

See also: SoftBank Dumps $2B Worth Of Uber Shares After Stock's Rally

Note that some smaller amount of insider buying was reported in the past week as well, at insurer Old Republic International Corporation ORI, specialty vehicle maker Rev Group Inc REVG, software company Sprout Social Inc SPT and utility York Water Co YORW.

At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.

Keep up with all the latest breaking news and trading ideas by following Benzinga on Twitter.

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Posted In: Aldeyra TherapeuticsB. Riley FinancialConagra BrandsDermTechFate TherapeuticsGeneration BioMersana TherapeuticsOld Republic InternationalREV GroupSprout SocialYork WaterBiotechNewsSmall CapInsider TradesGeneral

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.