For trade, details click on this link to the trades. 

If there’s one name on this list that I think offers extraordinary opportunity, it would be Casi Pharmaceuticals. It’s been a painful holding for us but take a look at our analysis. CASI looks like a 10 bagger in two years or less.
There is something very different now about this stock market than the one we started the year with.  There has been a steady collapse in speculative fervor across the entire market.  You only have to look at the embodiment of it, notable fund manager superstar, Kathie Woods ARKK fund that peaked at $159.74 and closed Friday at $115.80, down 27% from its February peak.  Knowing what’s behind this might help ins predicting what happens next.
  1. Inflation is the thing that most professional investors are concerned with.
  2. The resurgence of Covid is creating new uncertainty across multiple industries
  3. The expected Fed tapering- sooner than later. Excess liquidity has fueled the rise in all asset classes and no one knows how this will normalize.
  4. Anything China-related is selling off dramatically- so far the contagion has been limited.
  5. Extra unemployment benefits and all the pandemic stimuli are ending.

We’ve been going through a period where technology, cloud-related names, and bets on the future from EV vehicles to private equity to SPAC takeouts have provided the lion’s share of the market return. That is likely to revert back to the norm.  Historically 40% of the market return is attributable to dividend-paying stocks.  For a while, these ratios can get very distorted. My guess is that as institutional money gropes with the lack of return from fixed income, this balance will begin to normalize.

Insiders don’t have any better macro crystal ball than you or I- but they do know their own businesses.  You would think that the motives of insiders buying their own stock would be clear, to make money. Sometimes it’s not that simple. Not all insiders buys are the same, though and in this report, we’ll show you why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Chen Herald
Position: CFO
Shares Bought: 25,000, Average Price Paid: $60, Cost: $1,500,000
Company: Applovin (APP)
Applovin is a confusing company at first blush. Is it an ad network for mobile games or is it a mobile game developer and platform or a creative studio to help design the best advertising campaigns?  It is all of them actually. The mobile game distribution business and the platform are dominated by Facebook, Google with Android App and play store, and Apple’s iPhone app ecosystem. In comes Applovin to provide an independent ecosystem for game developers.  I kind of think of them as an Amazon marketplace for mobile games.  Independent merchants sell their games, advertise them, and Amazon makes money from all aspects. It also sees what are the best selling games, who plays them, and uses their proprietary data to make their own private label products.

Opinion: The proof as they say is in the pudding. After a much-hyped IPO, APP has been taking its shareholders on a roller coaster. After bottoming out around $57, the stock zoomed all the way to just under $90 in two months only to collapse to below $55 last week.  It caught our reader’s attention when the CEO bought 100,000 at $61.72 on 5-17, a director bought 16,883 at $59.23, and CFO Chen bought 25,000 $61.01. App reported great numbers on the 11th and the stock initially rose then rolled over and trended lower until the CEO came on Cramer’s show and basically repeated what he said on the earnings call a few days earlier. Cramer asked him about the expiration of the IPO lockup. He answered he just bought the stock at $60, was the largest shareholder and he wasn’t selling.  Then like a lion tamer training his beast, the stock slowed its descent and struggled to find a floor.  Then the announcement off Chen doubling his holdings by buying another 25,000 shares at $60 on 8-18- the stock hasn’t looked back.

So the big question is, should you buy more stock here?  Considering the $24 billion market cap, Applovin has already, the answer is no.  Can you ride this off into the metaverse- that’s a resounding yes but I wouldn’t be adding long-term money at this valuation.

Name: Gambrell Michael R
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 2,000, Average Price Paid: $129.75, Cost: $259,500
Company: Csw Industrials Inc. (CSWI)
CSW Industrials, Inc. is a diversified industrial growth company. The Company’s portfolio of products provides performance optimizing solutions to its customers. Its products include mechanical products for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R), sealants, and high-performance specialty lubricants. The Company operates through two business segments: Industrial Products and Specialty Chemicals. Industrial Products include specialty mechanical products, fire and smoke protection products, architecturally specified building products and storage, filtration and application equipment for use with specialty chemicals, and other products for general industrial application. Specialty Chemicals include pipe thread sealants, firestopping sealants and caulks, adhesives/solvent types of cement, lubricants and greases, drilling compounds, anti-seize compounds, chemical formulations, and degreasers and cleaners. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with operating companies headquartered across the United States, CSW Industrials (NASDAQ: CSWI) is a growth-oriented, diversified industrial Company with industry-leading operations.

Michael R. Gambrell is the Independent Director of the Company. Mr. Gambrell is a former Executive Vice President of The Dow Chemical Company, a publicly-traded chemicals company (now Dow, Inc.), and served as an advisor to the Chairman and CEO of Dow from 2011 to 2012. He retired in December 2012 after serving 37 years with Dow. He is also a Director Emeritus of the US-India Business Council. Mr. Gambrell served as a member of The University of Michigan Engineering Advisory Council from 2006 to 2012. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Gambrell served on the U.S. Department of Commerce Manufacturing Council, which advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters related to the competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Opinion: CSW just reported  80% growth over the prior-year period. Although profitability amongst their three segments was inconsistent, all three segments delivered organic revenue growth, highlighted by the Contractor Solutions segment, which reported 54% organic growth and 121% total growth which was due to the TRUaire acquisition.  The housing market is robust and there is insider buying across the board in building suppliers.  We would stay away from this buy and prefer pure plays like Cornerstone Building Brands and Louisianna Pacific.

 

Name: Holder John R
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 2,000, Average Price Paid: $124.93, Cost: $249,860
Company: Genuine Parts Co. (GPC)
Genuine Parts Company (GPC) is an American service organization engaged in distributing automotive replacement parts, industrial replacement parts, office products, and electrical/electronic materials. GPC serves numerous customers from more than 2,600 operations around the world and has approximately 48,000 employees. It owns the NAPA Auto Parts brand. Founded in 1925, GPC is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and consists of multiple subsidiaries that distribute automotive replacement parts, industrial replacement parts, office products, and electrical/electronic materials. The Company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since going public in 1948. The Company moved into its new headquarters building in the Wildwood area of Cobb County, Georgia, in June 2016. In 1925, Carlyle Fraser founded GPC to purchase Motor Parts Depot in Atlanta, Georgia, for $40,000. He renamed the parts store Genuine Parts Company. The original Genuine Parts Company store had annual sales of just $75,000 and six employees. For the next 50+ years, GPC, in relationship with NAPA, the National Automotive Parts Association, proliferated as independent garages for car repair emerged to meet the needs of the nation’s growing number of motor vehicles. In the last 35+ years, GPC has continued to grow through the acquisition of other companies in the automotive industry and the industrial, office, and electrical industries.[citation needed] Today GPC is a parts distributor with over 3,100 operations and approximately 48,000 employees.

John R. Holder serves as Independent Director of the Company. He is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Holder Properties, a commercial and residential real estate development, leasing, and management company based in Atlanta. Mr. Holder has held the position of Chairman since 1989 and Chief Executive Officer since 1980. He is also a director of Oxford Industries, Inc. and is a member of its Audit Committee. Mr. Holder brings to the Board his strategic leadership in the growth of Holder Properties, which has been involved in the development of over 100 commercial buildings valued in excess of $2.5 billion, as well as his extensive involvement in the areas of financial and marketing management.

Opinion:  Genuine Parts is on a great run. With the shortage of new cars and skyrocket prices of used cars, the parts business is booming. This is as probably as good as it gets. I don’t think it makes sense to buy at the top of this pandemic-induced supply constraint. One small buy is not something to get excited about although GPC is a well-run long-term moneymaker paying a decent dividend of 2.64%.

Finviz Chart

Name: Joly Hubert
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 8,400, Average Price Paid: $117.90, Cost: $990,360
Company: Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL)
Ralph Lauren Corporation is a global leader in designing, marketing, and distributing premium lifestyle products in five categories, including apparel, accessories, home, fragrances, and hospitality. For more than 50 years, Ralph Lauren’s reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands, and international markets. The Company’s brand names, including Ralph Lauren Collection, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Polo Ralph Lauren, Double RL, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren Children, and Chaps, among others, constitute one of the world’s most prominent, most widely recognized families of consumer brands. They believe that their global reach, breadth of product offerings, and multichannel distribution are unique among luxury and apparel companies. Reflecting a distinctive American perspective, they have been an innovator in aspirational lifestyle branding. They believe that, under the direction of internationally renowned designer Ralph Lauren, they have had a considerable influence on the way people dress and how fashion is advertised and celebrated throughout the world. They combine consumer insights with their design, marketing, and imaging skills to offer, along with their licensing alliances, broad lifestyle product collections with a unified vision.

Mr. Joly has been a director of the Company since June 2009 and serves as Lead Independent Director of the Board. He is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Best Buy Co., Inc. (“Best Buy”), where he served from 2012 to 2020. In addition, Mr. Joly is currently a member of Johnson & Johnson’s board of directors, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, a Vice Chairman of The Business Council, and a member of the board of trustees of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Previously, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Carlson from 20 08to 2012, after he joined Carlson in 2004 as President and Chief Executive Officer of Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

Opinion: RL had good numbers in its most recent quarter but it’s challenging to compare retailers’ numbers with so many factors that are not likely to recur, like the pandemic stimulus package and retail shutdowns.  Long term I don’t see any growth in RL’s business – just the opposite and I’d pass on this.


Name:
Paul Steven M
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 2,364, Average Price Paid: $105.86, Cost: $250,264
Company: Karuna Therapeutics Inc. (KRTX)
They are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company driven to create and deliver transformative medicines for people living with psychiatric and neurological conditions. At Karuna, they understand there is a need for differentiated treatments that can help patients as they navigate the challenges presented by these complex conditions. Utilizing their extensive knowledge of neuroscience, They are pursuing novel pathways to develop medicines with the potential to make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives. They’ve made it their mission to use their extensive knowledge of the patient journey and neuroscience to develop novel medicines with the potential to provide meaningful differences in peoples’ lives. Their shared passion inspires them to collectively work toward a goal bigger than themselves, and their team is motivated to responsibly study and deliver medicines that can offer substantial improvements to those living with schizophrenia, dementia-related psychosis, and other psychiatric and neurological conditions.

Steve Paul, M.D., is an expert in the central nervous system (CNS) drug discovery and development. He spent 17 years at Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), during which time he held several key leadership roles, including Executive Vice President for Science and Technology and President of the Lilly Research Laboratories.. Prior to Lilly, Steve spent 18 years at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and served as the Scientific Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Paul is a co-founder and board member of Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SAGE), a co-founder of Voyager Therapeutics (NASDAQ: VYGR) where he served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and member of the board of directors, and a member of the board of directors at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY).

Opinion:  Analysts are going bonkers over KarXT.   And they have been doing that for years.  On 11/18/2019 the stock skyrocketed 233% on Phase 2 clinical trials.  Now wind the clock forward and we’re waiting on Phase 3.  The results look promising but we’re not likely to hear the results until Mid 2022. Jefferies analyst Chris Howerton initiated coverage of Karuna Therapeutics with a Buy rating and $158 price target on July 28th  Karuna’s lead program, KarXT, is a combined drug product that is “likely to succeed” in the “huge market” of schizophrenia, where there have been no major mechanistic advances in decades, Howerton tells investors. While the opportunity for KarXT in schizophrenia is “unquestionably large,” dementia-related psychosis, where the drug is also being studied, “could be double that,” or a $3B-$4B opportunity, Howerton added.

Unless you like watching fruit on the vine ripen and go to waste, I wouldn’t touch KRTX.  The Company has plenty of cash and will likely get a drug approved. The only near-term catalyst is someone buying them out.  Perhaps that’s the motivation with the CEO buying stock.  More likely he is just fed up with the 30% decline from the peak this year.

 

Name: Grossman D Keith
Position: CEO Chairman
Shares Bought: 7,000, Average Price Paid: $105.07, Cost: $735,490
Company: Nevro Corp. (NVRO)
Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Nevro is a global medical device company focused on providing innovative products that improve the quality of life of patients suffering from debilitating chronic pain. Nevro has developed and commercialized the Senza spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system, an evidence-based, non-pharmacologic neuromodulation platform for the treatment of chronic pain. HF10 therapy has demonstrated the ability to reduce or eliminate opioids in =65% of patients across six peer-reviewed clinical studies. The Senza® System, Senza II™ System, and the Senza® Omnia™ System are the only SCS systems that deliver Nevro’s proprietary HF10® therapy. Senza, Senza II, Senza Omnia, HF10, Nevro and the Nevro logo are trademarks of Nevro Corp.

D. Keith Grossman was named CEO and President of Nevro in March of 2019. Mr. Grossman has over 30 years of experience in the medical device field. He served most recently, and for the second time, as the President, Chief Executive Officer, and director of Thoratec Corporation, leading up to its 2015 sale to St. Jude Medical. Prior to Thoratec, he served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and director of Conceptus, a women’s health medical device company, leading up to its sale to Bayer Healthcare. Prior to Conceptus, Mr. Grossman served as managing director of TPG (Texas Pacific Group), a private equity firm, as a member of its healthcare investment team. 

Opinion:  The spinal nerve stimulation/modulation market is tough. First of all, there is a problem with the efficacy. Just look at the stated results above, 65% is not a highly effective procedure.  After all, 50% is just as many people showing little or no relief- or not enough to get off opioids. None the less this is a large buy by the Chairman on nearly a 26% drop on a below-consensus Q3 revenue forecast. I’m not opposed to catching falling knives but this is not a name where I feel comfortable averaging down.  Not for me.

 

Name: Nelson Georgia R
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 3,000, Average Price Paid: $89.70, Cost: $269,098

Name: Penegor Todd Allan
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 3,000, Average Price Paid: $89.62, Cost: $268,860

Name: Niekamp Cynthia A
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 3,000, Average Price Paid: $89.27, Cost: $267,810

Name: Carey Nate C
Position: Vice President and Controller
Shares Bought: 4,000, Average Price Paid: $88.48, Cost: $353,924
Company: Ball Corp. (BLL)
Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, personal care, and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 21,500 people worldwide and reported 2020 net sales of $11.8 billion.

Todd Penegor was elected to Ball Corporation’s board of directors in October 2019. Mr. Penegor joined The Wendy’s Company as senior vice president and chief financial officer in 2013, and was named president and chief executive officer in 2016. Prior to joining Wendy’s, Mr. Penegor held a series of key leadership roles at Kellogg Company and Ford Motor Company. Alongside his role on the board at Ball, Penegor also serves as a board member at Wendy’s Company, Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business Financial Advisory Board, and the Dublin (Ohio) Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as vice-chair for the board of trustees of the Dave Thomas Foundation.

Cynthia A. “Cindy” Niekamp joined Ball Corporation’s board of directors in 2016. She is retired senior vice president of automotive coatings at PPG Industries, Inc., a global leader in performance and industrial coatings. Niekamp joined PPG in 2009 as vice president of automotive coatings and was promoted to senior vice president in 2010. She had responsibility for the multi-billion dollar revenue business with operations across 15 countries and more than 6,000 employees. She also served as a member of the PPG operating committee until her retirement in 2016. In addition to her director role on the Ball Corporation board of directors, Niekamp serves on the board of Magna International Inc., a $36.6 billion Canadian auto parts manufacturer. She previously served on the public boards of Delphi Corporation, Rockwood Holdings, and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company.

Nate C. Carey serves as Vice President, Controller of the Company. He joined Ball as assistant controller in 2014 after working at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for more than a decade. He is a certified public accountant with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from Colorado State University. In addition to his role at Ball, Carey serves on the board of directors for A Precious Child, Inc., a non-profit organization devoted to making a positive impact in the lives of disadvantaged and displaced children and families in Colorado.

Opinion:  What do recycled aluminum cans and aerospace technology have to do with one another? Nothing as far as I can tell but when multiple insiders are buying, investors should pay more attention.  None of these recent purchases are particularly large and look more like corporate officers fulfilling some obligation to own company shares than opportunistic backup the truck buys.  We’re taking a pass on Ball, especially considering its run from $77.90 to $92.5 in the last two weeks.

 

Name: Kelley Stephen Douglas
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 5,850, Average Price Paid: $85.85, Cost: $502,222
Company: Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (AEIS)
Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Denver, Colorado, that develops precision power conversion, measurement, and control technologies for the manufacture of semiconductors, flat panel displays, data storage products, telecommunications network equipment, industrial coatings, medical devices, solar cells, and architectural glass. Founded in 1981, Advanced Energy operates in regional centers in North America, Asia, and Europe and offers global sales and support through direct offices, representatives, and distributors. The company has manufacturing facilities in the U.S., EMEA, and Asia. Advanced Energy has devoted decades to perfecting power for its global customers. They design and manufacture highly engineered, precision power conversion, measurement, and control solutions for mission-critical applications and processes. Their products enable customer innovation in complex applications for various industries, including semiconductor equipment, industrial, manufacturing, telecommunications, data center computing, and medical. With deep application know-how and responsive service and support across the globe, we build collaborative partnerships to meet rapid technological developments, propel growth for our customers, and innovate the future of power.

A semiconductor industry leader with more than 30 years of experience, Steve Kelley joined Advanced Energy as president and chief executive officer in March 2021. In addition, he serves on the company’s board of directors. A high-impact technology executive, Kelley is renowned for leading some of the world’s largest global companies through financial growth and transformation. Prior to Advanced Energy, he served as president and chief executive officer of Amkor Technology, Inc., a leading semiconductor package and test company, leading its financial transformation by prioritizing strong revenue growth, efficiency gains, and a culture of continuous quality improvement. 

Opinion:  Have you heard there is a semiconductor shortage? If you haven’t you’ve been under a rock.   New purchases by new CEOs deserve some skepticism, but he’s been there a while now and perhaps he’s getting confident. Kelley also bought 5850 shares at $85 back in May.  The stock dropped on soft Q3 guidance and this looks like he is taking advantage of the price drop.  Advanced Energy having missed expectations for two quarters in a row and with component shortages likely to persist, Needham analyst said he is cutting his FY21 EPS view to $4.40 from $5.40 and FY22 view to $5.15 from $6.30.

I like the end markets and this one is something we bought.

Finviz Chart

Name: Forsyth John
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 6,500, Average Price Paid: $79.71, Cost: $518,115
Company: Cirrus Logic Inc. (CRUS)
Cirrus Logic, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company, provides low-power, high-precision mixed-signal processing solutions in the United States and internationally. It offers portable products, including codecs-chips that integrate analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-to-analog converters (DACs) into a single IC; smart codecs, a codec with the digital signal processor; boosted amplifiers; micro-electromechanical systems microphones; haptic drivers; digital signal processors; and SoundClear technology, which consists of a portfolio of tools, software, and algorithms that offer enhanced voice quality, voice capture, and audio playback features. The Company’s audio products are used in smartphones, tablets, wireless headsets, laptops, AR/VR headsets, home theater systems, automotive entertainment systems, and professional audio systems. It also offers high-performance mixed-signal products, such as haptic driver and sensing solutions, camera controllers, and power-related components used in various industrial and energy applications comprising digital utility meters, power supplies, energy control, energy measurement, and energy exploration. The company markets its products through a direct sales force, external sales representatives, and distributors. Cirrus Logic, Inc. was incorporated in 1984 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

John Forsyth has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer, Director of the Company effective 1/1/2021. He joined the Company in August 2014 through the acquisition of Wolfson Microelectronics, where he served as Vice President of Audio Products. Following that acquisition, from August 2014 until June 2018, Mr. Forsyth served as the Company’s Vice President of Product Marketing. From June 2018 until he was appointed President in January 2020, he served as the Company’s Chief Strategy Officer.

Opinion:  This is CEO Forsyth’s first buy since becoming CEO earlier this year. He joined the Company in 2014 and was most recently President. He knows what he is doing and is not likely to blow $500k.  Cirrus Logic is flat on the year after consolidating for the last 8 months.  Heavily dependent on the iPhone, CRUS lives and dies on Apple’s coattails. Cirrus Logic (CRUS) was downgraded to neutral from buy at the end of July by BofA analyst Vivek Arya., while saying” he likes Cirrus’ pipeline, plans for broadening into Android phones and laptops, and content gain opportunities from its Lion acquisition, the company’s announcement of FY23 pricing and cost pressures suggests earnings growth is likely to remain muted and below semis industry growth.”

 

Name: Moore Andrew
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 5,000, Average Price Paid: $63.70, Cost: $318,500

Name: Riley Bryant R
Position: CEO Chairman 10% Owner
Shares Bought: 15,000, Average Price Paid: $63.59, Cost: $953,899
Company: B. Riley Financial Inc. (RILY)
They are a leading, diversified financial services provider. They are a collection of experts with the in-house capabilities to serve any financial need at every stage of the business life cycle. Their team of seasoned experts takes a non-traditional, often contrarian approach to opportunities, where firm resources and cross-collaboration are well bestowed while always putting our clients first. What truly sets us apart from the competition is that, in addition to serving clients and investors, they actively utilize their balance sheet and have the operational prowess and foresight to recognize the value and maximize return on investments that others shy away from. B. Riley’s diverse suite of services goes beyond traditional financial service offerings. By leveraging cross-platform expertise and assets, they are uniquely positioned to provide full service, collaborative solutions to their clients at every stage of the business life cycle and in all market conditions. At B. Riley Financial, they believe that success is measured far beyond their stock price, a platform of businesses or services offered. Instead, it is the caliber of their people that truly makes a difference and drives impact for both the companies and the communities we serve.

Andrew Moore serves as Chief Executive Officer of B. Riley FBR of the Company. Riley FBR of the Company. prior to which he served as President of B. Riley FBR, Inc. from 2016 to 2018. In 2006, Mr. Moore joined B. Riley & Co., LLC as an institutional sales professional, promoted to Director of Sales in 2011. During his tenure at B. Riley FBR, Inc., Mr. Moore’s responsibilities have included raising capital for a broad range of small-cap companies, introducing and marketing management teams to a diverse group of hedge and mutual funds, and making investment recommendations to an institutional client base. Previously, Mr. Moore held sales positions at Roth Capital Partners and Bear Stearns & Co. 

Bryant R. Riley has served as Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of B. Riley Financial since June 2014 and July 2018, respectively, and as a director since August 2009. He also previously served as our Chief Executive Officer from June 2014 to July 2018. In addition, Riley served as the Chairman of B. Riley & Co., LLC since founding the stock brokerage firm in 1997 until its combination with FBR Capital Markets & Co., LLC in 2017; Chief Executive Officer of B. Riley & Co., LLC from 1997 to 2006; Chairman of B. Riley Principal Merger Corp. from April 2019 to February 2020, at which time it had completed its business combination with Alta Equipment Group, Inc.

Opinion:  Riley has been buying the heck of out his namesake company. I’m with him.  Not sure what’s up but no other CEO in this industry is buying their company’s stock. We are nibbling at this one.

Name: Cummins Wes
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 10,000, Average Price Paid: $38.81, Cost: $388,112
Company: Vishay Precision Group Inc. (VPG)
VPG is an internationally recognized designer, manufacturer, and marketer of resistive foil technology, sensors, and sensor-based systems to niche, industrial applications.   Their products, systems, and solutions are marketed under a variety of brand names that have a very high level of precision and quality. Their vision is to be the leading provider of foil components, sensors, and sensor-based systems with the highest precision, quality, and service for measuring force (weight, pressure, torque, acceleration) and current.  Their strategy is to achieve corporate growth and shareholder value by expanding their existing product portfolio, as well as by acquiring complementary technology products. The precision sensor market is influenced by the significant increase in intelligent products across many end markets, including medical, agricultural, transportation, industrial, avionics, military, and space applications.  As products become “smarter,” they will be there to provide solutions that link the mechanical world with digital control and response.   Performance through precision.  It’s in their DNA.

Wesley Cummins serves as Independent Director of the Company. Mr. Cummins is currently Chief Investment Officer of 272 Capital, an investment advisory firm, and has served in such a position since February 2020. He was previously an analyst with Nokomis Capital, L.L.C., an investment advisory firm that currently owns approximately 15.1% of VPG’s outstanding common stock, from October 2012 to February 2020. Mr. Cummins also currently serves as a director of Telenav, Inc. (NASDAQ: TNAV), a leading provider of location-based platform services, since August 2016. He was also appointed a director of Sequans Communications S.A. (NYSE: SQNS), a leading provider of single-mode 4G LTE semiconductor solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) and a wide range of broadband data devices in July 2018. 

Opinion:  Wes Cummins has been a steady buyer of Vishay.  No wonder why as it’s made him nothing but money.  VPG reported book to bill ratio of 1.40 which gives the company a healthy forecast for the back half of the year. Id’ be buyer below $35.

Finviz Chart

Name: Fernandez Raul J
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 10,906, Average Price Paid: $38.50, Cost: $419,856
Company: Dxc Technology Co. (DXC)
DXC Technology is a Fortune 500 global IT services leader. DXC Technology was founded on April 3, 2017, when the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE) spun off its Enterprise Services business and merged it with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). At the time of its creation, DXC Technology had revenues of $25 billion, employed 170,000 people and operated in 70 countries. By June 2021, the employee count of DXC has come down to 134,000.

Raul Fernandez is currently Vice Chairman and co-owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. This private partnership owns some of Washington, D.C.’s major sports franchises, including the WNBA’s 2019 Champion Washington Mystics, the NHL’s 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, the Washington Wizards, and the NBA 2K League’s 2020 Champion Wizards District Gaming. The partnership owns and operates Washington, D.C.’s premier sports and entertainment complex, Capital One Arena. Well-known in the tech industry as the founder of Proxicom (NASDAQ: PXCM), which under his leadership evolved into a prominent global provider of e-commerce solutions for Fortune 500 companies, Proxicom was acquired by Dimension Data (LSE: DDT) in an all-cash transaction valued at $450 million.

Opinion: Raul seems like he knows something as he has been buying the stock for the last three months starting in June with two buys between $39-$41.  This is not a business I want to be in.  I believe the future is in global outsourcing and Upwork is the up-and-coming play there.

Finviz Chart

Name: Spanos Mike
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 13,200, Average Price Paid: $37.79, Cost: $498,846
Company: Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (SIX)
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, more commonly known as Six Flags or Six Flags Theme Parks, is an American amusement park corporation headquartered in Arlington, Texas. It has properties in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Six Flags owns more theme parks, and waterparks combined than any other amusement park company globally and has the seventh-highest attendance in the world. The company operates 27 properties throughout North America, including theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, and a family entertainment center. In 2019, Six Flags properties hosted 32.8 million guests. Six Flags was founded in the 1960s and derived its name from its first property, Six Flags Over Texas. The company maintains a corporate office in Midtown Manhattan, while its headquarters are in Arlington, Texas. On June 13, 2009, the corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to crippling debt, which it successfully exited after corporate restructuring on May 3, 2010. The name “Six Flags” originally referred to the flags of the six different nations that have governed Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States (Union), and the Confederate States of America.[8] Six Flags parks are still divided into different themed sections, although many of the original areas from the first three parks have been replaced.

Michael Spanos has served as a director of Six Flags since October 2019. Mr. Spanos was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company in November 2019. Before joining Six Flags, Mr. Spanos served as the Chief Executive Officer, Asia, Middle East, and North Africa, PepsiCo, Inc., a leading global food and beverage company, from January 2018 to November 2019. Mr. Spanos served as interim head of PepsiCo, Inc.’s Asia, Middle East, and North Africa division from October 2017 to January 2018 and as President and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Greater China Region, from September 2014 to January 2018. 

Opinion: The spread of the Delta variant has been weighing on travel, live event, and theme parks. It’s unlikely there will be any more shutdowns but I just don’t see enough upside from here to get excited.

 

Name: Ball George L
Position: CFO
Shares Bought: 25,000, Average Price Paid: $34.95, Cost: $873,750
Company: Parsons Corp. (PSN)
Parsons Corporation provides technology-based solutions in the defense, intelligence, and critical infrastructure markets in North America, the Middle East, and internationally. It operates through two segments, Federal Solutions, and Critical Infrastructure. The company offers cybersecurity and intelligence services, as well as offensive and defensive cybersecurity platforms, tools, and operations to the U.S. Department of Defense and the United States intelligence community; space and geospatial solutions, such as geospatial intelligence, threat analytics, space situational awareness, small satellite launch and integration, satellite ground systems, flight dynamics, and command, and control solutions to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, and multiple units within the U.S. Department of Defense. It also provides missile defense and C5ISR solutions, such as integrated air and missile defense, data fusion and analytics, platform system integration, directed energy, joint all-domain operations, and command and control systems to Defense Intelligence Agency and U.S. Department of Defense; technology services for complex energy production systems, aviation, healthcare, and bio-surveillance systems, and environmental systems and associated infrastructure, as well as nuclear waste processing and treatment, weapons of mass destruction elimination, program and project management, infectious disease control analytics, and data protection solutions. In addition, the company offers intelligent transportation system management, aviation, rail and transit systems, smart cities software, and critical infrastructure cyber protection to the transportation authorities, rail, and transit entities; engineering services for complex infrastructure; and program management, and environmental solutions to private-sector industrial clients and public utilities. Parsons Corporation was founded in 1944 and is headquartered in Centreville, Virginia.

George L. Ball serves as Chief Financial Officer of the Company. Mr. Ball has held a succession of senior financial and management positions with us over the past 13 years. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Financial Systems and Control, of Parsons Corporation from March 2007 to May 2008 and Vice President, Finance, of Parsons Development Company from October 2004 to February 2008. Since joining us in 1995, he has served in various capacities, including Corporate Controller and International Division Manager of the Infrastructure & Technology Group. Mr. Ball has more than 36 years of experience in finance and accounting roles for public and private companies.

Opinion:  IT services companies don’t command high multiples. Parsons has a cyber defense department though that could command outsized growth. My favorite insider buyer is the CFO. He’s usually nuts and bolts numbers guy. This is a significant-sized buy and we would jump on Parsons here.

Finviz Chart

Name: Kaplan Jordan L
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 31,000, Average Price Paid: $32.12, Cost: $995,720
Company: Douglas Emmett Inc. (DEI)
Between 1971 and 1991, Dan Emmett and partners formed three real estate companies, which collaboratively engaged in the acquisition, development, redevelopment, operation, and management of high-quality real estate assets within supply-constrained markets in Los Angeles County. While the early focus was on multifamily properties, the Company’s investment focuses evolved to include high-quality office properties and complementary retail space in California and Honolulu, Hawaii. Between 1993 and 2006, Douglas Emmett acquired a substantial majority of its portfolio through nine institutional funds. Douglas Emmett Inc. is a New York Stock Exchange-listed company (ticker symbol “DEI”). Through their interest in their Operating Partnership and its subsidiaries, consolidated JVs, and unconsolidated Funds, they own and operate approximately 18.2 million square feet of Class A office space and over 4,300 apartment units within the premier coastal submarkets of Los Angeles and Honolulu. They rely on a focused business strategy that they developed over almost five decades: Their submarkets are dominated by small, affluent tenants, whose rent can be a small portion of their revenues and thus not the paramount factor in their leasing decision. In their target Los Angeles submarkets, they own on average about 41% of the Class A office space (weighted by their square feet of exposure in each submarket); in Honolulu, They own and operate about 28% of the Central Business District Class A office space. Finally, their fully integrated operating platform provides the unsurpassed tenant service demanded in our submarkets, with in-house leasing, proactive asset and property management, and internal design and construction services..

Jordan L. Kaplan serves as President, Chief Executive Officer, Director of the Company. Mr. Kaplan joined their predecessor operating companies in 1986, co-founded our immediate predecessor in 1991, and served as the Chief Financial Officer for our predecessor operating companies from 1991 to 2006. Mr. Kaplan received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1983 and his M.B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1986. Mr. Kaplan was nominated due to his position as our CEO and his extensive knowledge of our operations and our market.

Opinion: Office real estate may be the new subprime housing crisis.  I can’t imagine any company when leases are up for renewal that will take on more office space. The pandemic crisis has made work from home the standard.  We would not touch this category.

 

Name: Hoover R David
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 10,000, Average Price Paid: $31.31, Cost: $313,082
Company: Elanco Animal Health Inc. (ELAN)
Elanco Animal Health Incorporated is an animal health company that develops, manufactures, and markets products for companion and food animals. The Company can trace its roots back to the mid-1950s when Eli Lilly introduced their first antibiotic aimed at veterinary usage. The new plant and animal sciences research was combined into Lilly’s Agro-Industrial division. In the 1960s, the Agro-Industrial division was reorganized, launching the Elanco Products Company. The Company offers its products under four primary categories: Companion Animal Disease Prevention, Companion Animal Therapeutics, Food Animal Future Protein & Health, and Food Animal Ruminants & Swine. It provides a range of parasiticide portfolios in the companion animal sector based on indications, species, and formulations, with products that protect pets from worms, fleas, and ticks. It also offers a pain and osteoarthritis portfolio across species, modes of action, indications, and disease stages. It also provides treatments for otitis (ear infections), as well as cardiovascular and dermatology indications. Its Food Animal Future Protein & Health portfolio includes vaccines, nutritional enzymes, and animal-only antibiotics. It also provides products in poultry and aquaculture production.

R. David Hoover is the Chairman of the Elanco Board of Directors. He retired from Ball Corporation as chief executive officer in 2011 after more than 40 years of service. He retired as chairman of the board of directors in 2013 and continues to serve as a director. After joining Ball Corporation in 1970, Hoover held several leadership positions throughout his tenure, including vice president of finance and administration for both the company’s agricultural systems division and the company’s aerospace systems group; vice president and treasurer; senior vice president and chief financial officer; chief operating officer and more.

Opinion:  We tweeted that this was a no-brainer bounce candidate. It did exactly that. Now the big question. Why can’t this company get its shit together? On August 9th Elanco reported quarterly earnings and cut its forecast for the next quarter. Elanco cuts FY21 adjusted EPS view to 97c-$1.03 from $1.00-$1.06 They also announced that they had received a subpoena from the SEC on their sales practices. The stock fell 16%.  This is a good buying opportunity.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Mack John J
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 20,000, Average Price Paid: $26.30, Cost: $526,000
Company: New Fortress Energy Inc. (NFE)
New Fortress Energy Inc. operates as an integrated gas-to-power infrastructure company, provides energy and development services to end-users worldwide. The company engages in the natural gas procurement and liquefaction; and shipping, logistics, facilities, and conversion, or development of natural gas-fired power generation. It also supplies LNG. The company operates an LNG storage and regasification facility at the Port of Montego Bay, Jamaica; marine LNG storage and regasification facility in Old Harbour, Jamaica; and landed micro-fuel handling facility in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as Miami facility. New Fortress Energy Inc. was founded in 1998 and is based in New York, New York. At New Fortress Energy (NASDAQ: NFE),they believe everyone, everywhere should have affordable, clean energy. Today, they are helping customers lower costs and reduce emissions by replacing oil-based fuels with natural gas. They aim to be the world’s largest provider of carbon-free power. Every day, they’re working to create a world that’s powered by positive energy. Their company was founded in 2014 with the belief that access to affordable, reliable, cleaner energy is not a privilege, but a human right. Universal access to energy can impact everything from education to poverty reduction to gender equality. Creating that access – in an environmentally responsible way – is why they’re here.

John Mack has been a member of the board of directors since January 2019. From March 2012 until his retirement in December 2014, Mr. Mack served as a Senior Advisor for Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co., L.P. Prior to that, Mr. Mack served as Chairman of the Board of Morgan Stanley, a financial services company, from June 2005 to December 2011, and served as the Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley from June 2005 until December 2009, during which time he oversaw the firm’s conversion into a bank holding company. Mr. Mack was Co-Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse Group from 2003 to 2004 and the President, Chief Executive Officer, and a director of Credit Suisse First Boston from 2001 to 2004. Mr. Mack was chosen to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive experience advising and managing banking and financial services companies. We believe that Mr. Mack’s strong business leadership experience brings important insight and skills to our board of directors.

Opinion:  There is nothing new or carbon-neutral about New Fortress running and selling LPG power supplies and business.  We can’t get excited about it either as Covid’s further lockdown fears drove oil down.

Finviz Chart

Name: Kraemer Harry M Jansen
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 50,000, Average Price Paid: $21.47, Cost: $1,073,308
Company: Option Care Health Inc. (OPCH)
Option Care Health, Inc. offers home and alternate site infusion services in the United States. The company provides immunoglobulin infusion therapies for the treatment of immune deficiencies; anti-infective therapies and services; home infusion services to treat heart failures; and treatments for chronic inflammatory disorders, including Crohn’s disease, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and other chronic inflammatory disorders; and immunoglobulin infusion therapies. It also offers infusion therapies for bleeding disorders; home parenteral nutrition and enteral nutrition support services for numerous acute and chronic conditions, such as stroke, cancer, and gastrointestinal diseases; and other infusion therapies to treat various conditions, including pain management, chemotherapy, and respiratory medications. In addition, the company offers therapies that women need to survive and thrive through high-risk pregnancies; treatments to manage the progression of neurological disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy; and nursing services. The company is headquartered in Bannockburn, Illinois.

Harry M. Jansen Kraemer Jr. serves as Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of the Company. He served on the legacy Option Care board from 2015 until the Merger. Mr. Kraemer is an Executive Partner of MDP where he has served since 2005 and has served as Clinical Professor of Management & Strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management since 2005. Mr. Kraemer was the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Baxter International Inc., a healthcare company, until 2004. Mr. Kraemer had been a Director of Baxter International since 1995, Chairman of the Board since 2000, President since 1997, and Chief Executive Officer since 1999. Kraemer has served on the Board of Directors of Leidos Holdings, Inc., a publicly-traded defense, aviation, information technology, and biomedical research company since 1997 and Dentsply Sirona Inc.

Opinion: You haven’t made money in this name in 11 years or more. Let’s not kid ourselves.  The Company just did a spot secondary at $20.25.  Canaccord analyst Richard Close raised the firm’s price target on Option Care Health to $24 from $22 and keeps a Buy rating on the shares. The analyst said the company’s quarter was extremely impressive (albeit on an easier comp with COVID last year). Although 2021 guidance was raised, the company inferred that it is remaining conservative which is reassuring and which likely portends potential upside as 2H progresses.

 

Name: Watts Claudius E
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 65,000, Average Price Paid: $15.26, Cost: $991,913

Name: Choi Justin C SVP
Position: Chief Legal Officer & Sec
Shares Bought: 16,425, Average Price Paid: $15.18, Cost: $249,264

Name: Treadway Charles L
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 33,400, Average Price Paid: $14.93, Cost: $498,665
Company: CommScope Holding Company Inc. (COMM)
CommScope Inc. is an American global network infrastructure provider company based in Hickory, North Carolina. CommScope employs over 30,000 employees worldwide. With customers in over 130 countries. The company joined the NASDAQ stock exchange on October 25, 2013. CommScope designs and manufactures a variety of network infrastructure products. It has four business segments: Home Networks, Broadband Networks, Venue, Campus Networks, and Outdoor Wireless Networks. At CommScope, they push the boundaries of communications technology to create the world’s most advanced networks. They design, manufacture, install and support the hardware infrastructure and software intelligence that enables their digital society to interact and thrive. Working with customers, they advance broadband, enterprise, and wireless networks to power progress and create lasting connections. Across the globe, their people and solutions are redefining connectivity, solving today’s challenges, and driving the innovation that will meet the needs of what’s next.  CommScope has initially been a product line of Superior Continental Cable, which was founded in 1953 in Hickory, North Carolina.  In 1961, Superior created a division called Comm/Scope, which developed CATV systems and sold a coaxial cable named CommScope. In 1967, Superior was acquired by Continental Telephone Company, with CommScope becoming a division of Continental. In 1975, Frank Drendel headed a team charged with selling the product line. Drendel and Jearld Leonhardt founded CommScope in August 1976 after raising $5.1 million to purchase the CommScope product line. Two years later, CommScope and Valtech merged under the Valtech name. In 1979 Valtech donated fiber optics lines and equipment to link the U.S. House of Representatives to the C-SPAN studios, enabling live broadcasting of U.S. Congressional proceedings for the first time.

Mr. Watts joined our Board of Directors in 2011 and served as our Chairman. He previously served as our Lead Independent Director from 2017 to 2020, a member of our Compensation Committee from 2011 to 2020, and our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee from 2013 to 2020. He also serves as a Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Group, where he was a partner until 2017. Before beginning his business career, Mr. Watts served eight years as a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. Mr. Watts previously served on the board of directors of Carolina Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: CARO) and the boards of directors of numerous public and private companies over the past 20 years.

Justin Choi is Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Secretary at CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks. Choi most recently served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary, and Chief Compliance Officer of Anixter International, Inc., a global distributor of communication, security, and cable products from 2012 to 2020. Before that, Mr. Choi served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Andrew Corporation, a global leader in the wireless infrastructure industry.

Mr. Treadway was appointed as our President and Chief Executive Officer in October 2020. He also serves as a member of our Board of Directors. Mr. Treadway most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Accudyne Industries, a global provider of precision-engineered, process-critical, and technologically advanced pumps and flow control equipment, systems, and high-efficiency industrial compressors, from 2016 to 2020. Mr. Treadway held various leadership positions at Thomas & Betts Corporation, a global leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of essential components used to manage the connection, distribution, transmission, and reliability of electrical power in industrial, construction, and utility applications, including President.

Opinion: We bought a lot of COMM on this latest quarterly earnings disappointment.  The stock was down 21% on a rather modest miss. I was surprised that the stock did not rally on the news that 3 insiders were buying substantial amounts of stock. I have a high conviction that you can make money at this price on CommScope.

Plus we like the infrastructure bill as it should be very beneficial to COMM. According to Fly on the Wall, Jefferies analyst George Notter says that based on initial state budget proposals and legislation from nine states, he’s found that 9.7% of state American Rescue Plan Act funds are getting appropriated for broadband projects, up from his initial 2.5% estimate. If extrapolated across all 50 states, the early data points suggest that there’s an extra $17B-$18B in ARPA broadband funding than originally contemplated, Notter tells investors in a research note. Thus far, states are allocating nearly 10% of ARPA funds to broadband, the analyst adds. His favorite rural broadband plays are still Calix (CALX), Adtran (ADTN) and Cambium Networks (CMBM). Notter also expects Ciena (CIEN), CommScope (COMM), Corning (GLW), Juniper (JNPR), Harmonic (HLIT) and Lumentum (LITE) to be beneficiaries of all the funding coming into the space.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Rosenblatt David S
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 100,000, Average Price Paid: $14.94, Cost: $1,494,275
Company: 1stdibs.com Inc. (DIBS)
1stdibs (stylized as 1stDibs) is an e-commerce company. It has an online marketplace, which sells luxury items such as high-end furniture for interior design, fine art, and jewelry. The company has been recognized for “pushing the antique business into the 21st century. 1stDibs was founded in 2001 by Michael Bruno as an online luxury marketplace for antiques after he visited the Marché aux Puces in Paris, France. 1stDibs.com started as a listings site for art dealers to sell offline, but the site was redesigned in 2013 to give buyers the option to purchase items online. The company has received praise for restricting its listings to authorized dealers for authenticity and scrutiny for preventing dealers from completing a negotiation offline to avoid the company’s commission fees. In 2015, 1stDibs raised $50 million from venture capital firm Insight Partners. Part of that funding went to buy out Bruno’s shares, who had stepped away from day-to-day operations. The raise added Deven Parekh from Insight to the company’s board. In March 2019, the company completed a Series D funding round of $76 million. It has received $170 million in funding to date and has a valuation of more than $500 million. As of February 2019, 1stDibs works with 4,000 dealers in 28 countries.In March 2021, due to increased online shopping as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to increased demand via social network Instagram, 1stDibs showed a 20% increase in demand for its vintage products, with some categories increasing 80%.

As CEO of 1stDibs, David Rosenblatt draws on his extensive industry experience and entrepreneurial spirit to create a digital platform that inspires and excites the luxury shopper. Before his position at 1stDibs, David served from 2005 until 2008 as CEO of DoubleClick, the leading provider of online marketing technology. David sold the company to Google in 2008. Following the acquisition, he stayed on as Google’s President of Global Display Advertising through 2009. David serves on the boards of Twitter, IAC, and Farfetch.

Opinion: High-end art, jewelry, and designer good auction marketplace- Is there a market for this? If there is it’s small and niche.  Somewhere between ETSY, eBay, and Sotheby’s and Christie’s.  David Rosenblatt has the pedigree alright but even a great track record can’t make a mediocre idea work.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Adams Adrian
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 20,000, Average Price Paid: $13.99, Cost: $279,790
Company: Impel Neuropharma Inc. (IMPL)
Impel NeuroPharma, Inc. is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative therapies that unlock the full potential of therapeutic molecules for people living with CNS disorders with high unmet medical needs. Impel Neuropharma is the first company to investigate targeting the upper nasal space with optimized therapeutic molecules and formulations for treating CNS diseases. As a result, Impel NeuroPharma’s therapies can potentially improve the onset of symptomatic relief for a spectrum of neurological conditions. Today, Impel NeuroPharma is developing treatments that use this gateway to deliver therapies for patients with CNS disorders with high unmet medical needs. Impel NeuroPharma’s mission is to create transformative therapies for patients suffering from diseases with high unmet medical needs, with an initial focus on diseases of the CNS. We have pioneered an approach to drug delivery that administers specific formulations of drugs deep into the vascular-rich upper nasal space, a gateway for therapeutic administration of a versatile range of molecules and formulations.

Adrian has served as Chairman of Impel’s Board of Directors since January 2020 and as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since May 2020. Before this role, Adrian held the position of CEO of Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. This pharmaceutical company focuses on the development, acquisition, and commercialization of cardiovascular, pain, and other therapies, and was a member of the Aralez Board of Directors from February 2016 to January 2019.  Adrian served as President and CEO of Sepracor, Inc. Under his leadership, Sepracor conducted multiple strategic corporate development activities before its acquisition by Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co for $2.6 billion. Before joining Sepracor, Adrian was President and CEO of Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2002 until the company’s acquisition by Abbott Laboratories in 2016 for $3.7 billion.

Opinion: PDUFA date September 6, 2021 for TRUDHESA (Dihydroergotamine)a migraine drug. Trudhesa if approved is coming into a crowded market as there have been several migraine treatments recently authorized by the FDA.

According to Fierce Pharma Trudhesa, formerly known as NP104, is a nasal formulation of dihydroergotamine, a decades-old drug originally given intravenously. Multiple companies have tried to reformulate dihydroergotamine, perhaps most notably MAP Pharmaceuticals and Allergan, but have collectively been stymied by problems with efficacy, manufacturing and delivery. Impel is aiming to succeed where others stumbled when the FDA rules on whether to approve Trudhesa later this year.

It seems like a binary event and we’re not fans of this kind of risk. It’s promising that the CEO is buying right before the PDUFA date, though. Watch this one closely. It might not be as much fun as gambling on NFL football but since I can’t do that in Utah yet, I may just take a small flyer on this one.

 

Name: Lisi Steven A
Position: CEO Chairman
Shares Bought: 25,000, Average Price Paid: $7.85, Cost: $196,250
Company: Beyond Air Inc. (XAIR)
Beyond Air, Inc. is a clinical-stage medical device and biopharmaceutical company developing a revolutionary NO Generator and Delivery System that uses NO generated from ambient air and delivers precise amounts of NO to the lungs for the potential treatment of respiratory conditions including, serious lung infections, pulmonary hypertension and gaseous NO for the treatment of solid tumors. The Beyond Air NO Delivery System can generate up to 400 ppm of NO for delivery either continuously or for a fixed amount of time and has the ability to either titrate dose on-demand or maintain a constant dose. The Company is currently applying its therapeutic expertise to develop treatments for pulmonary hypertension in various settings, in addition to treatments for lower respiratory tract infections that are not effectively addressed with current standards of care. Beyond Air is currently advancing its revolutionary NO Generator and Delivery System in clinical trials for the treatment of bronchiolitis and severe lung infections such as nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and COVID-19. Beyond Air has also developed a proprietary system for delivering gaseous nitric oxide at high concentrations to treat solid tumors.

Steven Lisi has served on their Board since January 2017 and on the Board of Beyond Air Ltd., Their wholly-owned subsidiary, since June 2016. Mr. Lisi was previously Senior Vice President of Business and Corporate Development at Avadel Pharmaceuticals (AVDL) where he was instrumental in restructuring the company, raising $121 million and transforming it from $100 million enterprise value to $1 billion in three years. Prior to his position at Avadel, Mr. Lisi spent 18 years investing in the global healthcare industry at SAC Capital, Millennium Management, and Deerfield Management amongst others. 

Opinion: XAIR has been on a tear lately most likely caused by the resurgence of the Delta variant of Covid. I would be careful chasing it here.

 

Name: Riley Richard J
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 40,000, Average Price Paid: $5.59, Cost: $223,752
Company: Origin Materials Inc. (ORGN)
Founded in 2008, Origin is the world’s leading carbon-negative materials company with a mission to enable the world’s transition to sustainable materials. Origin’s patented drop-in technology, economics, and carbon impact are supported by a growing list of major global customers and investors. Origin’s technology has been further supported by an ISO-compliant Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which concluded that Origin’s products are expected to be carbon negative when produced at a commercial scale. While an estimated 55% of global carbon emissions come from energy generation and transport, the other 45% come from the production of materials for consumer and industrial products. More than ten million barrels of oil per day are used to create materials, in the process of releasing new carbon into the atmosphere. Origin’s vision for the future is to replace this oil use with non-food feedstocks and materials while capturing carbon in the process. Origin Materials’ patented technology platform, which turns inexpensive, plentiful, sustainable wood residues into carbon-negative materials, can help plastics, packaging, car parts, tires, carpeting, toys, and more with a ~$1 trillion addressable markets. In addition, Origin Materials’ technology platform is expected to provide stable pricing largely decoupled from the petroleum supply chain, which is exposed to more volatility than supply chains based on sustainable wood residues. Since announcing the business combination with Artius on February 17, 2021, Origin Materials has increased its customer demand from signed offtake agreements and capacity reservations by 90% to $1.9 billion from the $1 billion previously disclosed. This increase also greatly expanded the Company’s end markets beyond its Fortune Global 500 CPG customers – Danone, Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo – to include industrial and apparel textiles, automotive parts, insulating foams, and other applications. revolutionize the production of a wide range of end products, including clothing, textiles,

Rich Riley has served as Co-Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Origin Materials since October 2020. Mr. Riley has been an investor and advisor to Origin since 2010. From April 2013 to January 2019. Mr. Riley is also a co-founder and member of the board of HomePoint Maintenance, Inc., a private home maintenance services company he helped found in May 2019. Mr. Riley was an executive at Yahoo! Inc. from January 1999 to September 2012, with roles that included Executive Vice President, Americas and Senior Vice President & Managing Director, EMEA Region. 

Opinion: ORGN has been a disastrous investment since its SPAC merger. Clearly, this pre-revenue company should have not gone public this early but it needed the capital provided by a SPAC merger. If you believe in the science behind ORGN, you could probably take a flyer here at his price level.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Libman Brian L
Position: Director 10% Owner
Shares Bought: 168,271, Average Price Paid: $5.19, Cost: $873,984
Company: Finance of America Companies Inc. (FOA)
Finance of America is Albuquerque’s premier mortgage company. That has the absolute most outstanding talent in the lending industry locally, and they have a cohesive team that helps you get to the closing table on time. Purchasing a home or an investment property is a huge decision, and you want to work with professionals who care about making this experience as painless and smooth as possible. Finance of America Companies provides a diverse selection of lending products and services that meet customers’ financial needs throughout each phase of their lives. From home loans to reverse mortgages to commercial loans and lender services, they deliver a positive customer experience and do business with a personal touch. They are deeply committed to their employees as well as to their customers. Their people are the heart and soul of all that they do. In their vibrant culture, constructive ideas are welcome, innovation is rewarded, and their shared successes are celebrated. In 2013, Their founders started this company with a novel idea to reinvent the traditional finance company model. To create a diverse selection of lending products and services, they brought together more than 15 solid and innovative businesses focused on loan origination, investing, and other lending services. This business model, our vibrant culture, and our commitment to customers have empowered us to continue expanding our capabilities.

Brian L. Libman oversees the Company’s business strategy. He is the architect of the Company’s unique business model, and his vision guides the Company. Mr. Libman has spent his entire career in the specialty finance area and has been involved in structuring and consummating the acquisitions of more than twenty businesses. Before creating Finance of America in 2013, he was the managing partner and CEO of Green Tree Servicing and became the Chief Strategy Officer of its public market successor. 

Opinion: No mortgage-related plays are working. If Rocket can’t get going I don’t know how any other names will.

Name: Darrow Michael
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 64,000, Average Price Paid: $3.93, Cost: $251,667
Company: TrueCar Inc. (TRUE)
TrueCar, Inc. is an automotive pricing and information website for new and used car buyers. The service allows users to see what others paid for any new or used vehicle in their local area and receive upfront prices from a network of over 15,000 TrueCar Certified Dealers. TrueCar is paid by dealerships so they can be introduced to and communicate with potential new and used car buyers. TrueCar reports its users to purchase approximately 1 million cars from dealers in its network each year. TrueCar is a leading automotive digital marketplace that enables car buyers to connect to its nationwide network of Certified Dealers. The company is building the industry’s most personalized and efficient car buying experience as TrueCar seeks to bring more of the purchasing process online. Consumers who visit its marketplace will find a suite of vehicle discovery tools, price ratings, and market context on new and used cars – all with a clear view of what’s a great deal. When they are ready, TrueCar will enable them to connect with a local Certified Dealer who shares in its belief that truth, transparency, and fairness are the foundation of a great car buying experience. As part of its marketplace, TrueCar powers car-buying programs for over 250 leading brands, including AARP, Sam’s Club, and American Express. Nearly half of all new-car buyers engage with TrueCar powered sites, where they buy smarter and drive happier. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in Austin, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts.

Mike Darrow is the President and Chief Executive Officer of TrueCar, Inc. He has more than 30 years of experience working in the automotive industry. Mike joined TrueCar in 2017, serving as their Executive Vice President of OEM and Partner Development and President of ALG before being appointed President and Chief Executive Officer. Before joining TrueCar, Mike held leadership roles over 14 years at Edmunds.com, including Chief Executive Officer of Edmunds Data Services and Chief Sales Officer. Before joining Edmunds, Mike spent nearly 20 years with Chrysler and Nissan in a variety of leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Incentives.

Opinion: There is only one winner in this space and it’s Carvana. At this low price though the company may be a buyout candidate for someone in the information aggregating space like Yahoo.  We are not buyers, though.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Sagansky Jeffrey
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 97,143, Average Price Paid: $3.39, Cost: $329,315
Company: Target Hospitality Corp. (TH)
Target Hospitality (formerly Target Lodging), is the largest provider of turnkey accommodations and integrated hospitality services in the United States with 22 communities and more than 10,000 beds in their network. We operate globally, even in the most remote environments. They support the oil, gas, and mining industries with workforce housing and site services. They also provide governments and relief organizations with temporary lodging, culinary, and hospitality services. Their large network, high-quality culinary services, differentiated amenities, and the service-focused team all work together to enhance morale and improve retention for their customers in an increasingly competitive market. At Target Hospitality, you can rest assured that they will take care of your workforce off the job so they perform their best on the job. Target Hospitality, the largest vertically integrated specialty rental and hospitality services company in the United States. They operate across the U.S., providing high-quality, cost-effective, and customized specialty rental accommodations, culinary services, and hospitality solutions as part of our integrated housing and hospitality communities.

Jeffrey Sagansky serves as Independent Director of the Company. Mr. Sagansky is currently CEO of Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. and was our CEO and Chairman prior to the Business Combination. Mr. Sagansky has been a director of WillScot Corporation since Double Eagle Acquisition Corp., WillScot Corporation’s predecessor company, was formed on June 26, 2015, and served as Double Eagle’s President and Chief Executive Officer from August 2015 until the consummation of its business combination in November 2017. Mr. Sagansky previously served as president of Silver Eagle Acquisition Corp. 

Opinion: The reopening Covid plays are spent and I wouldn’t want to hang out with Target Hospitality.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Leach Jacob Steven
Position: Director
Shares Bought: 150,000, Average Price Paid: $1.53, Cost: $228,765
Company: SenesTech Inc. (SNES)
SenesTech, Inc. develops technology for managing animal pest populations through fertility control. The company offers ContraPest, a liquid bait that limits the reproduction of male and female rats. It is also developing a pipeline of fertility control and animal health products, including feral animal fertility control, non-surgical spay and neutering, boar taint, and animal cancer treatment. The company was incorporated in 2004 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.  they’re SenesTech: fertility control specialists fueled by their passion to create a healthy environment by virtually eliminating rodent pest populations. They keep an inescapable truth in mind: two rats can be responsible for the birth of up to 15,000 pups a year. They invented ContraPest®, the world’s first and only rodent contraceptive. ContraPest fits seamlessly into all pest control programs, greatly improving the overall goal of effective rodent management. Now, when their furry friends show up uninvited, their visits don’t become a family matter. They strive for clean cities, efficient businesses, and happy households—all through non-lethal, proactive pest control. At SenesTech, they don’t just eliminate rats. They make a better world.

As the Chief Technology Officer at Dexcom, Jake is responsible for the leadership of scientific research, engineering, product development, and project management. Jake oversees the development of next-generation products and leads a large organization of amazing people. His teams are responsible for delivering best-in-class glucose monitoring technology paired with an exceptional user experience. Jake joined Dexcom in March 2004 to lead the development of sensor electronics which were part of the first generation Dexcom system. Jake has served in various roles within Dexcom including Senior Vice President of R&D, Senior Director of R&D, and Manager of Engineering.

Opinion: Are you kidding me?

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Krimbill H Michael
Position: CEO
Shares Bought: 200,000, Average Price Paid: $1.52, Cost: $304,540
Company: NGL Energy Partners LP. (NGL)
NGL Energy Partners LP engages in the crude oil and liquids logistics and water solution businesses. The company’s Crude Oil Logistics segment purchases crude oil from producers and marketers and transports it to refineries for resale at pipeline injection stations, storage terminals, barge loading facilities, rail facilities, refineries, and other trade hubs; and provides storage, terminaling, and pipeline transportation services. Its Water Solutions segment transports, treats, recycles and disposes of, produced, and flowed back water generated from oil and natural gas production; disposes solids, such as tank bottoms and drilling fluid and muds, as well as performs truck and frac tank washouts; and sells produced water for reuse and brackish non-potable water. The company’s Liquids Logistics segment supplies natural gas liquids, refined petroleum products, and biodiesel to commercial, retail, and industrial customers in the United States and Canada through its 28 terminals, third-party storage and terminal facilities, and standard carrier pipelines, as well as through a fleet of leased railcars. This segment is also involved in the marine export of butane through its facility in Chesapeake, Virginia, and offers terminaling and storage services. NGL Energy Holdings LLC serves as the general partner of the company. The company was founded in 1940 and is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Mr. Krimbill is their Chief Executive Officer and also serves as a member of the Board of Directors. He has over 20 years of experience in executive roles in the propane industry. He was the past President and Chief Financial Officer of Energy Transfer Partners LP from 2004 through 2007. He was a former Director of Energy Transfer Equity, the General Partner of Energy Transfer Partners. At Heritage Propane Partners, the predecessor of Energy Transfer Partners, Mr. Krimbill, filled various roles from 1990 through 2004, including Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Krimbill served as a member of Williams’ Partners LP board from 2007 – 2012, where he was a member of the Audit Committee and the Chairman of the Conflicts Committee. He also served on the board of Pacific Commerce Bank from 2011-2015.

Opinion: Krimball has lost a lot of money buying NGL. It does make sense to pay attention to an insider’s track record. He’s been a steady buyer of NGL since 2016, having bought 940,000 shares starting in 2016 at over $17 per share. He has continued buying without a single sale down to his latest purchase at $1.52.  So when some people tell you all you need to do is follow insiders, tell them to look at Krimball.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: He Wei-Wu
Position: CEO Chairman
Shares Bought: 480,000, Average Price Paid: $1.28, Cost: $613,800
Company: CASI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CASI)
CASI is a U.S. NASDAQ-listed biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and accelerating the launch of innovative therapeutics and pharmaceutical products in China, the U.S., and throughout the world. They have offices in Rockville, Maryland, and a wholly-owned subsidiary in Beijing, China, through which all of their China operations are conducted. CASI is dedicated to developing and delivering high-quality pharmaceutical products and innovative therapeutics to patients worldwide while targeting the China market. They are focused on acquiring, licensing, developing, and commercializing products that address areas of unmet medical need. They intend to become the leading platform to launch medicines in the more significant China market leveraging their China-based regulatory and commercial competencies and their global drug development expertise. They have a strong and growing product pipeline of commercially available and clinical-stage drug candidates and will continue to acquire additional approved and clinical-stage drug candidates through in-license and acquisitions and explore drug candidates in preclinical development.

Dr. He has been Chairman of the Company since February 2012 and Executive Chairman since February 2018, and Chief Executive Officer since 2019. Before joining CASI, Dr. He was involved in founding or funding over 60 biotech companies throughout his career, some of which were acquired by significantly larger firms. In the earlier part of his career, Dr. He was one of the first few scientists at Human Genome Sciences, and before that, was a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Mayo Clinic.

Opinion: Casi is suffering from both a downturn in small biotechs and the bear market in Chinese stocks.  China is the only market Casi has targeted and it is a huge opportunity. Unfortunately, the crackdown on tech behemoths in China has cast a pall on all Chinese-related stocks. The FXI, an ETF of large-cap Chinese Stocks is down 30% from its peak this year.

None of this has dampened Chairman and CEO Hei’s enthusiasm for his company as seen by his purchase in the chart below

Hei, t has bought nearly $30 million of CASI stock over the last three years and has paid as high as $3.20 for it. Hei is a significant VC and leading scientist. His latest purchase confirms his conviction and ours. Casi is unique in that is a totally American company, listed in America playing by our accounting standards yet all its operations are in China.  The burgeoning middle class in China represents the greatest opportunity in the fastest-growing pharmaceutical market in the world.

Casi is covered by Mizhu, Oppenheimer, and HC Wainright with price targets of $4 to $6 per share. I think CASI can reach $10-$12 when the anxiety of China’s interference in their capital markets recedes and Casi gets drug approval for CNCT19, the 1st, and only native Chinese CAR T drug. It will be able to massively undercut the price of the competition and will likely lead to significant potential for a buyout of this small relatively undiscovered biotech.

Reading from Seeking Alpha’s transcript of the latest earnings conference call, Chairman and CEO Hei said “Revenues from EVOMELA, our first commercial drug, continued to increase while the cost of goods sold goes down. With that experience, our commercial and medical marketing team is ready to start preparations and pre-marketing activities for the anticipated launch of CNCT19, our CAR-T 19 program.”

” Now actually, we are actually very excited about the first approval of CAR-T 19 in China. To give it some perspective, this is really the first cell therapy ever approved in the Chinese history. And — but it is now really imported drug.

And the first drug is actually priced at RMB 1.2 million, which is a little bit less than USD 200,000, which we believe it’s quite expensive for Chinese patients in China.

So with that said, having the first drug on the market to pave the way for cell therapy is extremely exciting in China. So because our CAR-T 19 is a Chinese domestically produced CAR-T 19, our cost of goods sold will be significantly lower than the imported version of CAR-T 19.

So we believe there’s a differentiated market of cell therapy — of CAR-T 19 cell therapy in China. And we are at the very leading edge of being the first domestically produced CAR-T 19 in China. We are in the very end of the pivotal trial of CAR-T 19.

For B-ALL, we have the breakthrough designation in China, which — for that indication, the Kite’s drug is not approved yet for B-ALL. So we believe we might — we will be the first B-ALL approval in China. And because of the price differentiation, we believe that we can capture significant market share in China.

Especially, CASI already have over 100 people in the same channel within EVOMELA. The market for EVOMELA is the same as CAR-T 19 therapy, the percent of physicians and KOLs. So — and we are also expanding our sales team so by the time our CAR-T 19 is approved, we have a real — a ready commercial franchise to commercialize this product. And it’s truly exciting because we believe there’s actually over — close to 50,000 patients needing this product.”

 


Follow us on Twitter for real-time insider buying alerts at https://twitter.com/theinsidersfund.

$TUEM is up a whopping 36% after a series of buys by the new management. Tuesday Morning took a dump after reporting its latest quarter. The new management stepped up and bought a ton of stock. I bet they wish they could avoid short swing rule insiders to hold for six months

Load More...

Insiders sell the stock for many reasons, but they generally buy for just one – to make money. You’ve always heard the best information is inside information.  Everyone who has any experience at all in the stock market pays close attention to what insiders are doing.  After all, who knows a business better than the people running it?  Officers, directors, and 10% owners are required to inform the public through a Form 4 Filing any transaction, buy, sell, exercise, or any other with 48 hours of doing so. This info is available for free from the SEC’s Web site, Edgar, although we subscribe to SECForm4  as they provide a way to manage and make sense of the vast realms of data. I’ve tried many vendors, and SECForm4 is one of the most customer-friendly and responsive I’ve used.

We publish a subscription newsletter called The Insiders Report.  We offer a free 30-day trial, so you have nothing to lose by trying it out. Be sure to carefully read the TERMS OF SERVICE.

Another source for insider buying and selling and much more is FinViz Elite. FinViz stands for financial visualization, and they do an amazing job of providing reams of data and the tools to help you get to the bottom of it, the information that helps me make informed decisions and probable outcomes. I’ve been using their site for years, and it only gets better over time.

This is as close to “insider information” that an ordinary investor is likely to see- and it’s entirely legal. 

BEWARE– Following insiders can be hazardous to your financial health unless you know what you are doing.  Unlike the raw, unfiltered data, The Insiders Fund blog informs you of the purchases that count, the ones that are just window dressing into deceiving the public that all is hunky-dory, and those that are just flat out other people’s money and should be just discarded like bad fish. As a rule, 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 and options. 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. Unfortunately, the public information disclosure requirements about these programs referred to as Rule 10b5-1 are horrendously poor. Also, planned sales that just pop up out of nowhere are basically sales and are seeking cover under the Sarbanes Oxley corporate welfare clause. I also generally ignore 10 percent shareholders as they tend to be OPM (other people’s money) and perhaps not the smart money we are trying to read the tea leaves on.

Of course, insiders can also be wrong about their Company’s prospects. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing they never make mistakes.  No one tracks and understands insider behavior better than us. We’ve been doing it religiously since 2001, when I quit being an insider myself and devoted myself full time to managing my personal investments. They can easily be wrong about how much others will value them, and in many cases, maybe most cases have no more idea what the future may hold than you or me. In short, you can lose money following them.  We have, and we curse aloud, what were they thinking!  Needless to say, past good fortune is no guarantee of future success.  We may own positions, long or short, in any of these names and are under no obligation to disclose that. We welcome your comments on our analysis.

This blog is solely for educational purposes and the author’s own amusement.  Investing with The Insiders Fund is for qualified investors and by Prospectus only. Nothing herein should be construed otherwise.  THE INSIDERS FUND invests in companies at or near prices that management has been willing to invest significant amounts of their own money in.  If you would like to hear more about how you can get involved with the Insiders Fund, please schedule some time on my calendar. 

Prosperous Trading,

Harvey Sax

The Insiders Fund was the 4th best long-short equity fund in the world in 2019, 4th Best in November 2020, 4th Best in January 2021 (I kid you not)

%d bloggers like this: