- Insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors when markets face uncertainty.
- Activist investor Carl Icahn added to a stake last week.
- Financial companies and an options exchange operator saw insiders buying too.
Conventional wisdom says that insiders and 10% shareholders 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 markets are near all-time highs.
Though buy windows remain closed for many insiders during earnings-reporting season, plenty of others have continued to add shares despite market volatility and economic uncertainty. Here are some of the most noteworthy insider purchases reported in the past week.
Carl Icahn, a 10% shareholder of Xerox Holdings Corp. XRX, indirectly added about 1.06 million shares to his stake at prices ranging from $18.26 to $18.93 apiece. That cost him more than $19.45 million and raised the stake to over 28.52 million shares. The total float is less than 210 million.
American Assets Trust Inc. AAT saw Chief Executive Officer Ernest Rady indirectly pick up almost 259,800 shares of this real estate investment trust. At $21.13 to $21.85 per share, the transactions totaled over $6.60 million. Rady also bought more than 45,000 shares in September.
A beneficial owner of Esperion Therapeutics Inc. ESPR bought 200,000 shares last week at $25.31 apiece. That totaled more than $5.06 million, and the stake was up to more than 3.94 million shares. Note that this owner also recently bought Molecular Templates Inc. MTEM shares.
A Charles River Laboratories Intl. Inc. CRL director bought shares while others were selling. The 7,200 shares scooped up, at prices ranging from $232.70 to $233.5, totaled almost $1.68 million. The CEO and other executives parted with more than 30,800 shares last week too.
An executive at Renasant Corp. RNST picked up 28,000 shares of this Mississippi-based bank holding company. At prices ranging from $28.89 to $29.05 per share, that cost him more than $811,400. The purchase boosted that stake to less than 60,300 shares.
Chief Executive Officer Jon Bortz paid between $20.78 and $21.24 each for less than 22,500 Pebblebrook Hotel Trust PEB shares late last week. That totaled more than $471,800 and brought his stake in this resort-focused real estate investment trust to more than 55.800 shares.
Cboe Global Markets Inc. CBOE saw a director step up to the buy window late in the week. At $85.65 apiece, the more than 5,200 shares of this Chicago-based options exchange operator that he acquired added up to more than $447,900. It also more than doubled his stake.
American National Group Inc. ANAT saw two directors add shares to their stakes. At prices of $71.47 to $72.52 apiece, the 4,400 shares cost them more than $318,100 altogether. Back in September, two officers ponied up for a combined 335 shares of this insurer.
IBM IBM had a director acquire over 2,600 shares of the old-school tech giant early last week. At $112.92 per share, that totaled about $299,800. Note that five other directors purchased more than 18,700 shares altogether in the previous week for less than $111 apiece.
And an Enterprise Financial Services Corp. EFSC director added 10,000 more shares via trust of this Missouri-based company last week. At $29.32 to $30.08 per share, that cost him about $298,600 and lifted his stake to over 78,000 shares. Note that this director also bought 100,000 shares in August.
There also was some smaller amounts of insider buying at Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. BBBY, Del Taco Restaurants Inc. TACO, First Financial Bankshares Inc. FFIN and Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. SFM posted last week.
At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.
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