Market Overview

Benzinga's Insider Buys Of The Week: Allergan, HCA, Opko And More

Benzinga's Insider Buys Of The Week: Allergan, HCA, Opko And More
  • Insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors.
  • Several health care companies saw notable insider buying this past week.
  • Insiders included a company founder and a renowned former CEO.

Conventional wisdom says that insiders and 10-percent 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 in an overpriced market or after disappointing news.

Here's a look at some notable insider purchases reported in the past week.

HCA Healthcare Inc (NYSE: HCA) saw co-founder Thomas Frist Jr. and philanthropist wife Patricia Frist each acquire 28,650 shares. At per-share prices between $100.80 and $101.34, the total value of those transactions came to almost $5.8 million. Note that the pair are listed as beneficial owners, each with a stake now just shy of 390,000 shares.

This Nashville-based operator of hospitals and other care facilities initiated a dividend when it reported earnings at the end of January, and the stock hit a new 52-week high. The shares ended this past Friday's trading at $100.84 apiece, which is still near the purchase prices. The stock is more than 12 percent higher year-to-date.

Health care services provider athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ: ATHN) saw Chairman and former GE CEO Jeff Immelt scoop up 7,200 shares. At prices ranging from $138.10 to $139.17 a share, those transactions totaled more than $996,000. They included 102 restricted stock units awarded as part of a stock option plan.

Immelt was only named Athenahealth board chair earlier this month and said he plans to purchase $1 million of its common stock in the open market. Shares closed Friday's trading at $139.88 apiece, up marginally from the purchase prices. The stock saw only a fractional gain this past week and it is up less than 2 percent year-to-date.

See also: Roku CEO Tries To Explain Why The Street Is Wrong

An Accelerate Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ: AXDX) director took advantage of the recent pullback to acquire 30,000 shares of Arizona-based in vitro diagnostics company. At prices that ranged from $24.80 to $25.25 per share, that cost him more than $750,000. Note that this director was a frequent purchaser of shares back in October and November. His stake is more than 13.1 million shares on last look.

Accelerate Diagnostics reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss but soft guidance earlier in February. The shares rose about 5 percent in the past week and ended Friday at $25.75, modestly higher than the upper end of the purchase price range. The stock is still down more than 6 percent year-to-date.

At Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK), the chairman and CEO continues his habit of frequently buying batches of shares. Most recently that was more than 172,000 shares of this medical test and medication company. At share prices that averaged $3.63, that totaled almost $626,000. The stake is now listed as more than 1.5 million shares and the total float is more than 330 million.

The Miami-based diagnostics and pharmaceuticals company operates in the United States, Ireland, Chile, Spain, Israel and Mexico. Its shares were essentially flat in the past week and closed on Friday at $3.80 apiece. The stock has traded as high as $8.69 a share in the past 52 weeks.

Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN) saw its Chief Financial Officer Matt Walsh purchase 2,000 shares of this specialty pharmaceutical company. The purchase prices averaged $160.94 per share, for a total of almost $322,000, and it included restricted shares issued pursuant to an incentive award plan.

Walsh became CFO of this Dublin-based generic drugmaker just this month. The stock slipped about 2 percent in the past week to end Friday's trading at $162.09 apiece, so his acquisition appears to be well-timed. Since the beginning of the year, though, the share price is still almost 5 percent lower.

See also: Macquarie Infrastructure: What You Need To Know About The Massive Sell-Off

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.


Related Articles (AGN + HCA)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Posted-In: Accelerate Diagnostics Allergan athenahealth HCA Healthcare Opko HealthNews Insider Trades Best of Benzinga