Talk about a dull week on insider buying.  This is all that stuck out. Of course we are in the throes of the 1st quarter earnings blackout, but still, this is very thin. Insiders still find ways to unload their holdings though.


ETRN Equitrans Midstream Corp– three insiders bought $446.K of this midstream natural gas company. On February 21, 2018, EQT Corporation (EQT) announced plans to separate its separately managed gathering, transmission and storage, and water services operations (Midstream Business) from its natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids development, production and sales and commercial operations (Upstream Business). The separation of the Midstream Business from the Upstream Business will culminate in the spinoff from EQT of a new company named Equitrans Midstream Corporation. Equitrans Midstream will trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol ETRN.

CLR Continental Resources Harold Hamm CEO bought $34 million at $42.95.  Hamm has been a consistent buyer of stock in the last 5 years and has yet to make any headway in these purchases. We see no reason why this latest buy would be any different.

Insiders always find ways to sell with  “planned sales” which in reality is just a legal loophole around the SEC restrictions on insider selling during earnings blackout periods.  Some of the more notable ones are described below.

ULTA Ulta Beauty Inc. Insiders dumped a bunch of ULTA the week ending 3/22/19 and last week was no different. Five insiders took advantage of lifetime high prices to unload $199.8  million worth of this beauty chain. As of November 3, 2018, the company operated 1,163 retail stores across 50 states.

We think they have the right idea and would be sellers ourselves. Ulta has had stellar growth but its slowing.

CRM Salesforce Eight insiders sold $19.1 million worth of stock through a combination of sales and option exercises.  Salesforce is a bloated overpriced cloud-based CRM.  It invented the field so there are a lot of entrenched, hard to switch users but now there are many cheaper, viable competitors. Eventually, the market will perceive the moat is draining and the emperor has no clothes. This is a short but beware the market can remain irrational longer than you can be solvent.

SMAR Smartsheet Inc Five insiders sold a combination of stock and options worth $8.7 million. Smartsheet Inc. provides cloud-based platform for execution of work. It enables teams and organizations to plan, capture, manage, automate, and report on work. The company offers Smartdashboards that provides the status of work to align individuals, managers, and executive


In this report, we examined open market purchases from employees and directors.  Insiders sell stock for many reasons, but they generally buy for just one – to make money.  As a standard, we only look at material amounts of money, $200 thousand or more, as anything less could just be window dressing. The bar is different from selling because the natural state of management is to be sellers. This is because most companies provide significant amounts of management compensation packages as stock. Therefore, with selling, we analyze for unusual patterns, such as insiders selling 25 percent or more of their holdings or multiple insiders selling near 52-week lows. Another red flag is large planned sale programs that start without warning. We generally ignore 10 percent shareholders as they tend to be OPM (other people’s money) and not the SMART money we are trying to go to school on.  Although this info is available for free from the SEC’s Web site, Edgar, we subscribe to the Washington Service as they provide a way to manage and make sense of the vast realms of data.

To learn more about our strategy, visit our website here. We welcome your comments on our analysis. We may own positions, long or short, in any of these names and are under no obligation to disclose that.