Akamai, Murphy Oil and Other Stocks Insiders Are Buying

February 16, 2013 1:57 pm
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Insiders may sell shares for any number of reasons, but there is really only one reason insiders buy shares of a company — they believe the stock price will move higher and they want to profit from it.

Pullbacks and sell-offs provide a perfect opportunity for investors who have faith in a company to snap up shares. Here are some stocks that have seen insider buying recently.

Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM): The chief executive and a director together purchased more than 77,000 shares of this Internet services provider so far this month. That was worth more than $2.7 million.

The company posted mixed fourth-quarter results earlier this month. It has a market capitalization of about $6.8 billion. The long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth forecast is more than 14 percent and the operating margin is higher than the industry average. Shares dropped after the earnings report and are down more than eight percent year to date.

But, the stock has outperformed competitor Level 3 Communications (NASDAQ: LVLT) over the past six months.

Genomic Health (NASDAQ: GHDX): A director recently bought more than 168,000 shares, which was worth more than $4.7 million.

This Redwood City, California-based molecular diagnostics company recently posted better-than-expected quarterly results. It has a market cap near $880 million. The long-term EPS growth forecast is more than 35 percent, but the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is much higher that the industry average.

Shares have traded mostly between $28 and $30 since early in the year. Over the past six months, the stock has underperformed competitor Hologix (NASDAQ: HOLX) and the broader markets.

Murphy Oil (NYSE: MUR): This past week, a director purchased 80,000 shares, worth more than $4.8 million. The market cap of this oil and gas explorer and producer is about $11.8 billion, and its dividend yield is about 2.1 percent.

Shares slumped at the end of January on disappointing first-quarter guidance. The long-term EPS growth forecast is more than 10 percent, and the P/E ratio is in line with the industry average. Despite the post-earnings pullback, shares are about nine percent higher than 90 days ago.

The stock has outperformed larger competitors BP (NYSE: BP) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), as well as the broader markets, over the past six months.

Newcastle Investment (NYSE: NCT): A director and a secretary purchased more than 191,000 shares, worth more than $2 million, last week. That followed a buy of more than 213,000 shares by the same two individuals in January.

This New York-based real estate investment company has a market cap of about $1.9 billion and a dividend yield near 7.9 percent. The return on investment is more than 72 percent and the P/E ratio is much lower than the industry average. The share price reached a multiyear high on Friday.

Over the past six months, Newcastle has outperformed the likes of Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY) and Arbor Realty Trust (NYSE: ABR).

Opko Health (NYSE: OPK): The chairman continues to periodically buy batches of shares, as he has done for more than a year. He bought 105,000 shares in the past week, which is worth more than $707.000.

This Miami-based health care company has a market cap near $2 billion. Short interest is a more than 17 percent of the float. Shares have jumped more than 34 percent year to date, as Opko completed the acquisition of a Brazilian pharmaceutical company.

Because of the run up, the stock has outperformed competitors such as Allergan (NYSE: AGN) over the past six months.

Investors interested in exchange traded funds focused on insider sentiment might want to consider the following trades.

  • Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares (NYSE: KNOW) is up more than 10 percent year to date.
  • Guggenheim Insider Sentiment (NYSE: NFO) is up more than seven percent year to date.

Traders may prefer to consider these alternative positions to some of the stocks listed above:

  • LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) is more than 44 percent higher year to date.
  • Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE) is about 25 percent higher year to date.
  • Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO) is more than 33 percent higher year to date.
  • Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) is about 28 percent higher year to date.

Neither Benzinga nor its staff recommend that you buy, sell, or hold any security. We do not offer investment advice, personalized or otherwise. Benzinga recommends that you conduct your own due diligence and consult a certified financial professional for personalized advice about your financial situation.

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