Curious how well insiders are doing with their buys? Click on this link or image above to scroll the significant buys of the last year.

This report is going to be delayed due to a funeral I had to attend for my dear first cousin’s, husband, who passed away at 75years of age. It brought me back to Savannah, my hometown, on the marsh and waterways of Skidaway Island. I will get to the opinion pieces as I write the Insiders Report for myself. It’s my way of processing insider buying.  And there was a lot of it, this time with household names.

It’s also the worst-performing week of insider buying in months as the average insider purchase returned -1.8% versus the S&P 500’s 0.32% return. Averages don’ tell the whole story of course. For example, Paypal was off 5.2%, Draft King, off 8.25%, and Skilz was down a whopping 17.2%.  We are buyers of all of these names, reversing our short on Draft King to along.

I will get around to updating the opinion pieces during the week.  Check back frequently as I am not going to bombard anyone with email.  This is a big week with 86 insider purchases.  Insiders are coming back in a pretty big way.

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Name: Immelt Jeffrey R
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-11 Shares Bought: 3,400 Average Price Paid: $295.82 Cost: $1,005,796
Company: Twilio Inc. (TWLO)
Twilio Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides a cloud communications platform that enables developers to build, scale, and operate customer engagement within software applications in the United States and internationally. Its customer engagement platform provides a set of application programming interfaces that handle the higher-level communication logic needed for nearly every type of customer engagement, as well as enable developers to embed voice, messaging, video, and email capabilities into their applications. The company was incorporated in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Millions of developers around the world have used Twilio to unlock the magic of communications to improve any human experience. Twilio has democratized communications channels the world’s communications infrastructure through APIs that are simple enough for any developer to use, yet robust enough to power the world’s most demanding applications. By making communications a part of every software developer’s toolkit, Twilio is enabling innovators across every industry — from emerging leaders to the world’s largest organizations — to reinvent how companies engage with their customers.

Jeff served as chairman and CEO of GE for 16 years where he revamped the company’s strategy, global footprint, workforce, and culture, transforming it into a simpler, stronger, and more focused digital industrial company. During his tenure, he led several innovative transformations which doubled industrial earnings, reshaped the portfolio, re-established market leadership, grew a strong share position in essential industries, and quadrupled emerging market revenue. Prior to being appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2000, Jeff held several global leadership roles at GE in the Plastics, Appliances, and Healthcare businesses and became an Officer of the company in 1989. 

Opinion: When you’re hot, you’re hot and when you’re not you’re well- you’re rarely invited back to Jim Cramer’s show on CNBC.  Twilio was a Cramer favorite. What happened to this once erstwhile high flyer and should we consider it here? Of all the many insiders I follow, Jeff Immelt ranks as one of the worst to follow. His disastrous buys and leadership at GE don’t give me a lot of confidence in his vote of confidence.

On October 27th Twillio issued the double bombshell press release that it missed its earnings consensus forecast from (15c) to EPS (26C)-(23c) and its’ COO George Hu was resigning and the CFO was taking his place and keeping his duties at CFO. That seems like a lot of work for one person but it definitely signals that after years of losing money the Company is pivoting toward monetization of its impressive revenue growth. The only problem with that is that the more the company grows its revenues the more it loses.  Hello? No wonder the market is puking on this.  There may be a tradeable bounce but we’re value buyers and at $46B enterprise value and (817M) EBIT, TWLO has a long way to go before we stick our toe in the water.

Analysts fell all over themselves downgrading the stock from merely insane value to just completely unreasonable values. Cathie Woods’ ARK has been buying stock hand over fist on the sell-off once again showing that this ultimate on the come fund cares little about what it pays for growth.

 

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Name: Henderson Jay L
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-10  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $235.29 Cost: $2,352,892
Company: Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW)
Illinois Tool Works Inc. manufactures and sells industrial products and equipment worldwide. It operates through seven segments: Automotive OEM; Food Equipment; Test & Measurement and Electronics; Welding; Polymers & Fluids; Construction Products; and Specialty Products. The Automotive OEM segment offers plastic and metal components, fasteners, and assemblies for automobiles, light trucks, and other industrial uses. The Food Equipment segment provides ware washing, refrigeration, cooking, and food processing equipment; kitchen exhaust, ventilation, and pollution control systems; and food equipment maintenance and repair services. The Test & Measurement and Electronics segment produce and sells equipment, consumables, and related software for testing and measuring of materials and structures, as well as equipment and consumables used in the production of electronic subassemblies and microelectronics. The Welding segment produces arc welding equipment; and metal arc welding consumables and related accessories. The Polymers & Fluids segment produces adhesives, sealants, lubrication and cutting fluids, and fluids and polymers for auto aftermarket maintenance and appearance. The Construction Products segment offers engineered fastening systems and solutions for the residential construction, renovation/remodel, and commercial construction markets. The Specialty Products segment offers beverage packaging equipment and consumables, product coding and marking equipment and consumables, and appliance components and fasteners. It serves the automotive OEM/tiers, commercial food equipment, construction, general industrial, and automotive aftermarket end markets. The company distributes its products directly to industrial manufacturers, as well as through independent distributors. Illinois Tool Works Inc. was founded in 1912 and is headquartered in Glenview, Illinois.

Jay L. Henderson, 64, retired as Vice Chairman, Client Service of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”), a global professional services firm, in June 2016, having served in that capacity since 2007. He also served as PwC’s Greater Chicago Market Managing Partner from 2003 to 2013 and, prior thereto, Managing Partner of the Cleveland Office. During his career at PwC, Mr. Henderson gained significant broad-based experience working with boards and audit committees of Fortune 500 global organizations across multiple markets and industry sectors. Mr. Henderson has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1977. He has served as a director of ITW since 2016 and currently serves as a director of The J.M. Smucker Company, where he serves as the Chairman of the Audit Committee, and Northern Trust Corporation, where he serves on the Audit Committee, Capital Governance Committee, and previously on the Business Risk Committee.

Opinion: Jay Henderson is a very knowledgeable insider. As far as I can tell this is his first open market purchase. So what’s the catalyst? We can only speculate. It’s certainly not based on a sell-off in the price. Henderson is buying at an all-time high.  This likely means one thing.  Business is good and will be getting better. The Company reported October 28th and their earnings call they saw continued strong growth momentum in size of our seven segments in the third quarter” Auto was impacted by the well-known supply chain issues and that should change from a headwind to a strong tailwind as supply chain issues subside and the retooling of the auto industry to EV vehicles picks up momentum. ITW is a direct beneficiary of the decades-long effort to bring back manufacturing to the U.S.

 

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Name: Donahoe John J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-09 Shares Bought: 9,780 Average Price Paid: $204.42 Cost: $1,999,228
Company: PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL)
PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American multinational financial technology company operating an online payments system in the majority of countries that support online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods such as checks and money orders. The company operates as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites, and many other commercial users, for which it charges a fee. The Company’s combined payment solutions, including its PayPal, PayPal Credit, Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, iZettle, and Hyperwallet products and services, comprise its Payments Platform. It operates a two-sided network that links its customers around the globe to facilitate the processing of payment transactions, allowing it to connect merchants and consumers. The Company allows its customers to use their account for both purchases and paying for goods, as well as to transfer and withdraw funds. It enables consumers to exchange funds with merchants using funding sources, which include bank account, PayPal account balance, PayPal Credit account, credit and debit card, or other stored value products. The Company also offers consumers person-to-person (P2P) payment solutions through its PayPal Website and mobile application, Venmo, and Xoom.

Chairman, PayPal Holdings, Inc. John J. Donahoe is a businessperson who has been at the helm of 8 different companies and presently holds the position of Chairman for PayPal Holdings, Inc., Chairman of PayPal, Inc. (a subsidiary of PayPal Holdings, Inc.) and President, Chief Executive Officer & Director at NIKE, Inc. John J. Donahoe is also a Member of the President’s Export Council and on the board of 5 other companies. In the past, he was President, Chief Executive Officer & Director at eBay, Inc. and President of eBay Marketplaces GmbH (a subsidiary of eBay, Inc.), Director at ServiceNow, Inc., and CEO & Worldwide Managing Director at Bain & Co., Inc.

Opinion: Long-time CEO of eBay and Chairman of the Board of Paypal Donahue knows the business. In spite of his $2millio purchase, PYPL has continued its slide, having lost nearly 30% of its value from its September high.  There are a few reasons for the slide in price.

On October 25th news outlets reported Paypal was talking to Pinterest about an acquisition. Wall Street analysts were unanimous panning this as ill-conceived and began to doubt the management’s cognitive ability.

The Company reported mixed third-quarter results on November 9th and issued a weaker than expected outlook for the 4th quarter on November 8th. Let’s keep this perspective though, as total payment volume grew 25% and 24% on an FX-neutral basis. Yet this was the 1st down sequential 2nd quarter in their history. They also announced a deal where users can pay with Venmo on Amazon in 2022.   Analysts went on a downgrade binge although they almost all maintained a buy, just lowering their price target. The lowest one was all the way down to $260.  The stock closed Friday, November 19th at $193.82.

Then the buzz turned on the disrupter, speculating that PayPal itself could be disrupted by Defi. Paypal finally enabled Crypto payments for millions of merchants on its platform last week but that didn’t help. Hardly surprising since no one really uses crypto to pay for anything. It’s just a speculation product at the moment. I’m not sure what’s going to arrest the slide since the stock was so overvalued, to begin with. This is the problem with the momentum trade.               

 

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Name: Wilson Kevin S
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15  Shares Bought: 1,000 Average Price Paid: $179.00 Cost: $179,000
Company: Heska Corp. (HSKA)
Heska Corporation manufactures, sells, and markets veterinary diagnostic and specialty products for canine and feline healthcare markets in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Spain, and Switzerland. The company offers Element DC and Element DC5x veterinary chemistry analyzers for blood chemistry and electrolyte analysis; Element HT5 and scil Vet abc Plus +TM veterinary hematology analyzers to measure blood cell and platelet count, and hemoglobin levels; Element POC blood gas and electrolyte analyzers; Element I immunodiagnostic analyzers; Element COAG veterinary analyzers; and IV infusion pumps. It also provides digital radiography hardware and mobile digital radiography products, as well as ultrasound systems; Cloudbank, a Web-based image storage solution; HeskaView, a picture archival and communications system for Cloudbank; point-of-care heartworm diagnostic test products for dogs and cats; Tri-Heart Plus chewable tablets for the treatment of canine heartworm infection, and treatment and control of ascarid and hookworm infections; and allergy products and services, including ALLERCEPT definitive allergen panels, and therapy shots or drops. Additionally, the company provides a line of bovine vaccines; biological and pharmaceutical products for other animal health companies; and various turnkey services comprising research, licensing, production, labeling, and packaging, as well as provides validation support and distribution services. It sells its products to veterinarians through a field organization, a telephone sales force, and third-party distributors; and trade shows, print advertising, and other distribution relationships. The company was formerly known as Paravax, Inc. and changed its name to Heska Corporation in 1995. Heska Corporation was founded in 1988 and is based in Loveland, Colorado.

Kevin S. Wilson was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer effective March 31, 2014. He previously served as our President and Chief Operating Officer from February 2013. Mr. Wilson became a member of our Board of Directors in May 2014. Mr. Wilson is a founder, member, and officer of Cuattro, LLC, an imaging diagnostic company. Since 2008, he has been involved in developing technologies for radiographic imaging with Cuattro, LLC and as a founder of Cuattro Software, LLC, Cuattro Medical, LLC, and Cuattro Veterinary, LLC. Mr. Wilson served on the board of various private, non-profit and educational organizations from 2005 to 2011. He was a founder of Sound Technologies, Inc., a diagnostic imaging company, in 1996. After Sound Technologies, Inc. was sold to VCA Antech, Inc. in 2004, Mr. Wilson served as Chief Strategy Officer for VCA Antech, Inc. until 2006.

Opinion: It’s a relatively small buy. Normally don’t pay much attention to under $200k

 

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Name: Rashid Kashif
Position: General Counsel
Transaction Date: 2021-11-11 Shares Bought: 2,000 Average Price Paid: $101.05 Cost: $202,100
Company: Nevro Corp. (NVRO)
Nevro Corp., a medical device company, provides products for patients suffering from chronic pain in the United States and internationally. The company develops and commercializes the Senza spinal cord stimulation system, an evidence-based neuromodulation platform for the treatment of chronic pain, as well as Senza II and Senza Omnia systems. In addition, the company provides HF10 Therapy, which delivers neuromodulation solutions for treating chronic pain based on available clinical evidence. It sells its products through its direct sales force, and a network of sales agents and independent distributors. The company was incorporated in 2006 and is headquartered in Redwood City, California. While traditional spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has been around for over 30 years, Nevro created a disruption by offering a next-generation approach called 10 kHz Therapy, the most studied therapy in the market, that provides patients with significant pain relief and no paresthesia. They recognize the growing importance of ESG to their stakeholders: customers, patients, shareholders, employees, suppliers, and communities. They are committed to operating their business as a responsible corporate citizen and strengthening the trust their stakeholders place in them.

Kashif Rashid joined Nevro in 2017 and serves as General Counsel of the company. Mr. Rashid has over 20 years of broad legal experience, with a particular focus on medical devices and healthcare. Mr. Rashid previously served as Deputy General Counsel at St. Jude Medical, a medical device company, where he had responsibility for various aspects of the legal function, including commercial, business development, and corporate governance and securities. Following the acquisition of St. Jude Medical by Abbott, Mr. Rashid moved to Atara Biotherapeutics, bay-area biotech focused on T-cell immunotherapy, as Vice President, Legal. Prior to St. Jude Medical, Mr. Rashid served in roles of increasing responsibility at General Electric’s Healthcare business, Loews Corporation, and Kaye Scholer, LLP.

Opinion: This is a short seller’s favorite and not even insider buying is arresting the slide. Neuro stimulation for pain relief is sketchy technology to begin with and there are giants in the field like Medtronic.

 

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Name: Ingram Douglas S
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 25,026 Average Price Paid: $79.94 Cost: $2,000,578
Company: Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. (SRPT)
Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc., a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery and development of RNA-targeted therapeutics, gene therapy, and other genetic therapeutic modalities for the treatment of rare diseases. The company offers EXONDYS 51 injection to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in patients who have a confirmed mutation of the DMD gene that is amenable to exon 51 skipping; and VYONDYS 53 for the treatment of DMD in patients who have a confirmed mutation of the DMD gene that is amenable to exon 53 skipping. It also developing AMONDYS 45, a product candidate that uses phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer (PMO) chemistry and exon-skipping technology to skip exon 45 of the dystrophin gene; SRP-5051, a peptide conjugated PMO that binds exon 51 of dystrophin pre-mRNA; SRP-9001, a DMD micro-dystrophin gene therapy program; and SRP-9003, a limb-girdle muscular dystrophies gene therapy program. The company has collaboration agreements with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd; Nationwide Children’s Hospital; Lysogene; Duke University; Genethon; and StrideBio. It also has a research and option agreement with Codiak BioSciences, Inc. to design and develops engineered exosome therapeutics to deliver gene therapy, gene editing, and RNA technologies for neuromuscular diseases; and research collaboration with Genevant Sciences for lipid nanoparticle-based gene editing therapeutics. Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. was incorporated in 1980 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Doug Ingram has served as President, CEO, and board member since 2017. Doug has a single-minded focus to make Sarepta the leader in precision genetic medicine and rescue lives devastated by rare genetic diseases. “I saw something in Sarepta that was special. An opportunity to be part of something important. Much of what we’re doing has never been done before. It has the potential to upend the entire medical system.” Doug likes to make clear that Sarepta is different from most biotechs clustered around Kendall Square in Cambridge. “We’re a commercial-stage organization with the resources to bring precision genetic medicine from discovery all the way to the patient.” Doug’s two decades in the pharma-biotech world began at Allergan, which he joined as General Counsel in 2001, holding positions of increasing responsibility until being named President in 2013. When Allergan was acquired by Actavis in 2016, he moved on to Chase Pharmaceuticals, serving as President and CEO before coming to Sarepta.

Opinion: Ingram is putting his money where his mouth is. On November 3rd, the Company issues a press release of their quarterly earnings.“We are pleased to report another quarter of strong performance serving the Duchenne community with our three currently approved therapies and on that basis have once again raised our full-year product revenue guidance. In total, we have raised guidance by some $70 million this year and are now guiding to $605 million to $615 million. This represents our 20th straight quarter of strong revenue growth and we anticipate this growth continuing in 2022,” said Doug Ingram, president and chief executive officer, Sarepta. “We have now initiated Part B of MOMENTUM, our pivotal trial for SRP-5051, our next-generation PPMO candidate for exon 51 skip amenable Duchenne patients as well as EMBARK, our pivotal trial for SRP-9001, our micro-dystrophin gene therapy for Duchenne. Also, this quarter we shared additional compelling data across three studies for SRP-9001, providing additional conviction as we execute on EMBARK and prepare to unblind and release Study 102 Part 2 results in the first quarter of next year. As we track out of 2021 and into a milestone-rich 2022, we are delivering on our approved therapies, seeing successes across our programs, and as of today, with greater than $2 billion of cash and cash equivalents on our balance sheet and a first-in-class team of genetic and rare disease professionals, have the resources and talent to deliver on the promise of our multi-platform pipeline.”

This is a large buy and a few biotech analysts raised their price targets. This has been a very poor-performing sector with a few exceptions.

 

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Name: Pytosh Mark A
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $76.95 Cost: $384,750

Name: Buhrig Melissa M
Position: VP
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15  Shares Bought: 2,200 Average Price Paid: $77.25 Cost: $169,950
Company: Cvr Partners Lp. (UAN)
CVR Partners LP (NYSE: UAN) is a publicly-traded company based in Sugar Land, Texas that manufactures and provides nitrogen fertilizer products. It is a subsidiary of Coffeyville Resources, which CVR Energy Inc owns. The company was formed by CVR Energy to operate its nitrogen fertilizer business. CVR Energy, Inc. was listed as a 2012 Fortune 500 company with NO.5 ranking in Houston Chronicle. CVR Partners is a growth-oriented company focused on producing nitrogen fertilizer to help serve the needs of a growing population. Their company uses state-of-the-art technologies to produce urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) and ammonia fertilizer products while remaining committed to unitholder value and safe and environmentally conscientious operations. The CVR Partners nitrogen fertilizer plant is the only such operation in North America that uses a petroleum coke gasification process to make hydrogen, a key ingredient in its manufacturing process. It produces about five percent of total UAN demand in the U.S. As a growth-oriented limited partnership formed by CVR Energy, Inc. to own, operate, and grow their nitrogen fertilizer business, CVR Partners fertilizer manufacturing facility is located in Coffeyville, Kansas, and East Dubuque, Illinois. Coffeyville Resources Nitrogen Fertilizers is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CVR Partners and directly owns and operates the CVR Partners nitrogen fertilizer plant.

Mr. Pytosh serves as Chief Executive Officer, President, and a Director of the general partner of CVR Partners, LP, and Executive Vice President, Corporate Services for CVR Energy, and Executive Vice President, Corporate Services for the general partner of CVR Refining, LP. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors’ environmental, health and safety committee for CVR Partners. Before joining CVR Partners, Mr. Pytosh served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Alberta, Canada-based Tervita Corporation, an environmental and energy services company.

Ms. Buhrig serves as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for the general partner of CVR Partners, LP, as well as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for CVR Energy, Inc. and the general partner of CVR Refining, LP. Prior to joining CVR Energy, Ms. Buhrig was Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of Delek US Holdings, Inc. and the general partner of Delek Logistics Partners, LP since October 2017. Before joining Delek, she served as Senior Vice President – Services and Compliance Officer for Western Refining, Inc. and the general partner of Western Refining Logistics, LP. Ms. Buhrig joined Western Refining in 2005 as Deputy General Counsel and held roles of increasing responsibility including Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, and Assistant Secretary.

Opinion: CVR Partners is up close to 700% this year and the CEO is still buying. Who likes buying stock up that much but this is his second purchase at these lofty heights.  No one follows this company and it’s the best performing name on my screen. I blogged about this back in September when he purchased 5000 shares at $58.45.

 

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Name: Riley Bryant R
Position: CEO Chairman 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $77.35 Cost: $1,547,000
Company: B. Riley Financial Inc. (RILY)
B. Riley Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides collaborative financial services and solutions in North America, Australia, and Europe. The Capital Markets segment offers a range of investment banking, corporate finance, consulting, financial advisory, research, securities lending, wealth management, and sales and trading services to corporate, institutional, and high net worth clients. This segment also provides merger and acquisitions, restructuring advisory, initial and secondary public offerings, and institutional private placements services; asset management services; manages various private and public funds for institutional and individual investors; and trades in equity securities. The Auction and Liquidation Segment offers retail store liquidation and wholesale and industrial assets disposition services. The Financial Consulting segment provides bankruptcy, financial advisory, forensic accounting, litigation support, real estate consulting, and valuation and appraisal services. The Principal Investments – United Online and magicJack segment provides consumer subscription services consisting of Internet access services and devices under the NetZero and Juno brands, as well as voice over IP cloud-based technology and communication services. The Brands segment provides licensing of a brand investment portfolio, including Catherine Malandrino, English Laundry, Joan Vass, Kensie Girl, Limited Too, and Nanette Lepore. In addition, it offers advisory services to private funds, and institutional and high net worth investors; brokerage services; senior secured and second lien secured loans to middle-market public and the private U.S. companies; and consulting services to shareholders, creditors, and companies. The company was formerly known as Great American Group, Inc. and changed its name to B. Riley Financial, Inc. in November 2014. B. Riley Financial, Inc. was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California

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 on a tear since the FBR merger. When you’re hot you’re hot and this is a great market for boutique investment banks. The question though will it last a market that only goes up. I’m reminded of the Warren Buffett quote, “when the tides go out you can see who is swimming naked”

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Name: Rice Daniel J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-12 Shares Bought: 15,150 Average Price Paid: $67.66 Cost: $1,025,028
Company: Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL)
Whiting Petroleum Corporation, headquartered in Denver, Colorado is one of the largest independent exploration and production companies in the USA with an oil-focused asset base. We control one of the largest acreage positions in the Bakken/Three Forks resource play in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana.  From the Bakken and Three Forks resource play, we have consistently been a top oil producer in North Dakota and across the Williston Basin. Whiting Petroleum Corporation was founded in January 1980 in Denver, Colorado In 1983, Whiting Petroleum merged with Keba Oil & Gas and Hingeline-Overthrust to become a public company. In 1992, Alliant Energy, a Midwest public utility, acquired Whiting Petroleum as a wholly-owned subsidiary. In November 2003, Whiting Petroleum again became a public company when our IPO was completed. Since their founding, they have been an independent oil and gas company that acquires, exploits, develops, and explores crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids, primarily in the Rocky Mountain region and the Permian Basin. Today Whiting Petroleum is focused in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Whiting Petroleum Corporation is a Denver-based independent oil and gas company that acquires, exploits, develops and explores crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids primarily in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. They are focused primarily on organic drilling activity, both on grassroots oil plays and on the development of previously acquired properties, and specifically on projects that they believe provide the opportunity for repeatable success and meaningful production growth.

Daniel J. Rice IV has been a director of Whiting Petroleum Corporation since September 2020. Mr. Rice serves on Whiting’s Audit Committee as well as Whiting’s Compensation and Human Resources Committee. Mr. Rice has been a partner at Rice Investment Group since 2018 and serves as Chief Executive Officer for Rice Acquisition Corp., a publicly-listed special purpose acquisition company. Mr. Rice was the Chief Executive Officer of Rice Energy Inc. from 2013 until its sale to EQT Corporation in 2017. Mr. Rice also served as Chief Executive Officer of Rice Midstream Partners from 2014 until Rice Energy’s merger with EQT in 2017.

Opinion: Energy stocks have been a good performer this year but have way underperformed the underlying commodity which has risen percentage-wise substantially more than the equities.  Whiting reported Q3 revenue $401M, consensus $308.7M. Lynn A. Peterson, the CEO, commented, “The team continues to execute on our business plan as demonstrated by the substantial cash provided by operating activities of $190 million during the quarter and $526 million for the nine-month period. The Company generated adjusted free cash flow during the quarter of $128 million and $347 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2021. Commodity prices have continued to strengthen during the year and under current prices, the Company expects to continue to generate substantial free cash flow during the fourth quarter and end the year with no debt and positive cash on our balance sheet.”

At that rate, it would only take 5 years of operational cash flow to buy back the whole company.  It’s hard to find that anywhere.

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Name: Southern William Bradley
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 5,350 Average Price Paid: $67.24 Cost: $359,734
Company: Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (LPX)
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets building products primarily for use in new home construction, repair and remodeling, and outdoor structure markets. It operates through four segments: Siding; Oriented Strand Board (OSB); Engineered Wood Products (EWP); and South America. The Siding segment offers LP SmartSide trim and siding products, ExpertFinish prefinished siding products, and LP outdoor building solutions for premium outdoor buildings; and engineered wood siding, trim, soffit, and fascia products. The OSB segment manufactures and distributes OSB structural panel products comprising LP TechShield radiant barriers, LP WeatherLogic air, and water barriers, LP Legacy premium sub-flooring products, LP FlameBlock fire-rated sheathing products, and LP TopNotch subflooring products. The EWP segment provides laminated veneer lumber, laminated strand lumber, and other related products; and I-joists, which are primarily used in residential and commercial floorings, roofing systems, and other structural applications. The South America segment manufactures and distributes OSB structural panel and siding products. This segment also distributes and sells related products for the region’s transition to wood frame construction. It also offers timber and timberlands and other products and services. The company sells its products primarily to retailers, wholesalers, and homebuilding and industrial businesses in North America and South America, as well as in Asia, Australia, and Europe. Louisiana-Pacific Corporation was incorporated in 1972 and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

William Bradley Southern serves as Chief Executive Officer, Director of the Company. Mr. Southern has been Chief Executive Officer of LP since July 1, 2017. Mr. Southern served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of LP from November 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017. Prior to that, Mr. Southern served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Oriented Strand Board (“OSB”) in 2015 and Senior Vice President of Siding in 2012. Mr. Southern started with LP in 1999 and held multiple positions with increasing responsibilities before being named Vice President of Specialty Operations in 2004. Mr. Southern also serves as a director of Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTE). 

Opinion: Everyone knows the housing market is strong. There is no let-up in demand insight. The only thing that could derail it would be a severe recession created by extraneous events or a sharp change in monetary policy. In the case of the former, that’s unknowable and the latter is unlikely.  The last insiders to buy LPX were the CFO and a Director back in August at $56 per share. It’s reassuring to see the CEO buying $10 higher per share and no meaningful insider sales.

 

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Name: Wilder C John
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 14,050 Average Price Paid: $65.21 Cost: $916,234

Name: Wilder C John
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-12  Shares Bought: 21,116 Average Price Paid: $65.17 Cost: $1,376,146
Company: Evergy Inc. (EVRG)
Evergy is an American investor-owned utility (IOU) with publicly traded stock headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, and in Kansas City, Missouri. The company was formed from a merger of Westar Energy of Topeka and Great Plains Energy of Kansas City, Missouri, the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light. Evergy is the largest electric company in Kansas, serving more than 1.6 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the state’s eastern half. Evergy has a generating capacity of 16,000-megawatt electricity from its over 40 power plants in Kansas and Missouri. Evergy service territory covers 28,130 square miles (72,900 km2) in eastern Kansas and western Missouri. Evergy owns more than 13,700 miles (22,000 km) of transmission lines and about 52,000 miles of distribution lines. Evergy is committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable energy sources today and well into the future. So they’re embracing alternative energy sources to generate more power with less impact on our environment and adopting new technologies that let their customers manage their energy use in ways that work for them. Whether it’s new ways to connect with them, electric vehicle charging stations, or the next innovation around the corner, they’re dedicated to empowering a better future. It generates electricity through coal, hydroelectric, landfill gas, uranium, natural gas, oil sources, and solar, wind, and other renewable sources. The company has approximately 10,100 circuit miles of transmission lines, 39,800 circuit miles of overhead distribution lines, and 13,000 circuit miles of underground distribution lines. It serves approximately 1,620,400 customers, including residences, commercial firms, industrials, municipalities, and other electric utilities.

Mr. Wilder is the Executive Chairman of Bluescape. He serves on the boards of directors of several private portfolio companies and has previously served on the board of many private and public companies, including NRG Energy, Inc. and TXU Corp. He served in executive officer roles in TXU Corp., Entergy Corp., and Royal Dutch/Shell Group. Mr. Wilder received his bachelor of science in business administration from Southeast Missouri State University and holds a master of business administration from the University of Texas.

Opinion: Wilder is part of an investment group that has advertised their desire to buy substantial amounts of this regulated electric utility.  This is also our largest holding. We’ve blogged extensively about this and other electric utilities. Wall Street is underestimating or not taking into consideration that electricity usage is going to grow at the fastest rate in generations.

 

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Name: Silberman Robert S
Position: Chairman
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $57.99 Cost: $579,900
Company: Strategic Education Inc. (STRA)
Strategic Education, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides post-secondary education and non-degree programs. It operates in three segments: Strayer University, Capella University, and Australia/New Zealand. The company operates Strayer University that provides undergraduate and graduates degree programs in business administration, accounting, information technology, education, health services administration, public administration, and criminal justice for working adult students through its 64 physical campuses located in the eastern United States, as well as through online; and an executive MBA online through its Jack Welch Management Institute. It also operates a software development school that provides Web development, iOS development, quality assurance, and UX design programs in Lehi, Utah, and Dallas, Texas online; and a software engineering school for women, which offers software development programs online in San Francisco. In addition, the company operates Capella University, an online post-secondary education company that offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in public service leadership, nursing and health sciences, psychology, business and technology, counseling and human services, and education primarily for working adults; and provides self-paced online general education courses. Further, it operates Torrens University that offers undergraduate and graduates courses in business, design and creative technology, health, hospitality, and education fields through online and on physical campuses located in Australia; Think Education, a vocational training organization that delivers education at various campuses; and Media Design School, which offers industry-endorsed courses in 3D animation and visual effects, game art and programming, graphic and motion design, digital media artificial intelligence, and creative advertising in New Zealand. The company was founded in 1892 and is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.

Robert S. Silberman joined the Company in 2001 and served as its Chief Executive Officer from 2001 to 2013. He served as Chairman of the Board from 2003 to 2013 and has been Executive Chairman since 2013. Earlier in his career, Mr. Silberman served as President and Chief Operating Officer of CalEnergy Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. (NYSE: BRK). He is a Managing Director of Equity Group Investments and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: PARR); as well as the Lead Director of the Board of Covanta Holdings Corporation (NYSE: CVA). Mr. Silberman was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army and served in other senior positions in the U.S. Department of Defense from 1989 to 1993. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Opinion: Publicly traded companies in the for-profit education space include Adtalem Global Education (ATGE), American Public Education (APEI), Grand Canyon (LOPE), Lincoln Educational (LINC) and Strategic Education (STRA) have been under pressure from perceived more aggressive government scrutiny.  STRA has improved revenues and quarterly profit yet is making new lows.  At 8.95 trailing 12 month cash flow, Strayer Education makes some sense to me but with Covid back in the news, I think we’ll pass on this insider buy.

 

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Name: Mccain Ellis L
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $48.15 Cost: $481,497
Company: Continental Resources Inc. (CLR)
Continental Resources, Inc. explores for, develops, and produces crude oil and natural gas primarily in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. The company sells its crude oil and natural gas production to energy marketing companies, crude oil refining companies, and natural gas gathering and processing companies. As of December 31, 2020, its proved reserves were 1,104 million barrels of crude oil equivalent (MMBoe) with proved developed reserves of 627 MMBoe. The company was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. At Continental Resources, they find and produce oil and natural gas, exclusively in the United States. Their core holdings and proven reserves in North Dakota and Oklahoma are recognized to be among the best deep oil inventories in the industry. It’s an enterprise they believe contributes hugely to the well-being of every American. They are proud to be part of the American Energy Renaissance. America had become the largest producer of energy on the planet, and energy independence for the first time in decades. Furthermore, They continue to believe, despite the recent market disruptions and demand destruction caused by the global pandemic, America will continue to depend on independent oil and gas producers like ourselves to preserve their economic and national security.

Mr. McCain also served as Lead Director from the 2014 Annual Meeting through the 2016 Annual Meeting. Mr. McCain served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ellora Energy, Inc. (“Ellora”) from July 2009 through August 2010, when Ellora was merged into a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation. Prior to Ellora, Mr. McCain was Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer of Westport Resources Corporation (“Westport”), a publicly-traded exploration and production company, from 2001 until the sale of Westport to Kerr McGee Corporation and his retirement from Westport in 2004. From 1992 until joining Westport in 2001, Mr. McCain was Senior Vice President and Principal of Petrie Parkman & Co., an investment banking firm specializing in the oil and gas industry.

Opinion:  Finally someone besides Harold Hamm is buying stock. Last week was tough in the oil patch but any pullback in oil is likely to be temporary.  There is not a healthy appetite to ramp up exploration budgets and the transition away from hydrocarbons will likely be more difficult and take longer than the conventional wisdom.  The raw material cost inputs for EV batteries are likely to put a restraint on growth. Until electric vehicles are cheaper to buy than internal combustion engine vehicles, the transition to electrics will not be mainstream.  Lithium carbonate, a major cost of EV batteries., is at all-time highs.

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Name: Khosrowshahi Dara
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15 Shares Bought: 200,000 Average Price Paid: $44.92  Cost: $8,984,540
Company: Uber Technologies Inc. (UBER)
Uber Technologies, Inc. develops and operates proprietary technology applications in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. It connects consumers with independent providers of ride services for ridesharing services and other forms of transportation services, including public transit, as well as connect riders and other consumers with restaurants, grocers, other stores, and delivery service providers for meal preparation, grocery, and other delivery services. The company operates through four segments: Mobility, Delivery, Freight, and Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), and Other Technology Programs. The Mobility segment provides products that connect consumers with mobility drivers who provide rides in a range of vehicles, such as cars, auto-rickshaws, motorbikes, minibusses, or taxis. It also offers Uber for Business, financial partnerships, transit, and vehicle solutions offerings. The Delivery segment allows consumers to search for and discover local restaurants, order a meal, and either pick up at the restaurant or have the meal delivered, as well as offer grocery and convenience store delivery, and select other goods. The Freight segment connects carriers with shippers on the company’s platform and enables carriers upfront, transparent pricing, and the ability to book a shipment. The ATG and Other Technology Programs segment engages in the development and commercialization of autonomous vehicle and ridesharing technologies, as well as Uber Elevate. It has a partnership with DriverDO LLC that allows automotive software companies to offer vehicle logistics and personal mobility. The company was formerly known as Ubercab, Inc. and changed its name to Uber Technologies, Inc. in February 2011. Uber Technologies, Inc. was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Dara Khosrowshahi is the CEO of Uber, where he manages the company’s fast-growing business in 63 countries around the world and leads a global team of more than 22,000 employees. Dara was previously CEO of Expedia, which grew into one of the world’s largest online travel companies. A seasoned executive with a background in both engineering and finance, Dara oversaw several acquisitions that bolstered Expedia’s offerings and aggressively invested in mobile, which now accounts for more than half of Expedia’s traffic. He was also beloved by Expedia’s employees and named one of the Highest Rated CEOs on Glassdoor. Dara was promoted to Expedia CEO after serving as the Chief Financial Officer of IAC Travel, a division of IAC, which purchased Expedia in 2002 and spun it off in 2005. He was also instrumental in the expansion of IAC’s portfolio of travel brands.

Opinion: Uber is lower than its IPO price and the CEO is buying $9 million dollars worth. The Company reported Q3 revenue $4.8B, consensus $4.42B. Adjusted EBITDA of $8 million, up $517 million QoQ and $633 million YoY. “Our early and decisive investments in driver growth are still paying dividends, with drivers steadily returning to the platform, leading to further improvement in the consumer experience,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO. “This is especially important as Mobility reignites.

There is no reason Uber can’t be a very profitable business. Maybe Dara will get serious about cost-cutting and rationalize and right size this business.

 

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Name: Ruchim Arik W
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 400,000 Average Price Paid: $42.34 Cost: $16,936,380
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 have 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. Six Flags parks are still divided into different themed sections, although many of the original areas from the first three parks have been replaced.

Arik Ruchim has served as a director of the Company since January 2020. Mr. Ruchim is a Partner at H Partners, LP, an investment management firm. Prior to joining H Partners in 2008, Mr. Ruchim was at Creative Artists Agency and Cruise/Wagner Productions. Mr. Ruchim currently serves as a director of Tempur Sealy International, Inc., the world’s largest bedding provider, where he serves as a member of its Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and its Compensation Committee, and as a member of the University of Michigan’s Tri-State Leadership Council, a group dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Mr. Ruchim previously served as a director of Remy International, Inc., a global manufacturer of automotive parts, and as a director of Dick Clark Productions, a television production company.

Opinion: Mike Spannos, the CEO stepped down in an unexpected move after earnings on November 15th. It’s odd since Spannos had just purchased $500k worth of stock in August.  CEOs are not normally buying their stock before getting canned so this was probably a surprise move. Six Flags announced that it is replacing current CEO, Mike Spanos, with the former Six Flags Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Selim Bassoul.

This buy was not an individual but a nominee of H Partners, a hedge fund. We’re not normally reporting on it but the oddity of the sudden removal of the CEO is something we want to watch.

 

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Name: Wichmann David S
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15  Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $41.98 Cost: $1,049,450
Company: Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX)
Boston Scientific Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets medical devices for use in various interventional medical specialties worldwide. It operates through three segments: MedSurg, Rhythm and Neuro, and Cardiovascular. The company offers devices to diagnose and treat gastrointestinal and pulmonary conditions; devices to treat various urologic and pelvic conditions; implantable cardioverter and implantable cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators; pacemakers and implantable cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemakers; and remote patient management systems. It also provides medical technologies to diagnose and treat rate and rhythm disorders of the heart comprising 3-D cardiac mapping and navigation solutions, ablation catheters, diagnostic catheters, mapping catheters, intracardiac ultrasound catheters, delivery sheaths, and other accessories; spinal cord stimulator systems for the management of chronic pain; indirect decompression systems; and deep brain stimulation systems. In addition, the company offers interventional cardiology products, including drug-eluting coronary stent systems used in the treatment of coronary artery disease; percutaneous coronary interventions products to treat atherosclerosis; intravascular catheter-directed ultrasound imaging catheters, fractional flow reserve devices, and systems for use in coronary arteries and heart chambers, as well as various peripheral vessels; and structural heart therapies. Further, it provides stents, balloon catheters, wires, atherectomy systems to treat arterial diseases; thrombectomy and acoustic pulse thrombolysis systems, wires, and stents to treat venous diseases; and peripheral embolization devices, radioactive microspheres, ablation systems, and micro and drainage catheters to treat cancer. The company was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts.


David S. “Dave” Wichmann has been a director of Boston Scientific since June 2021. Mr. Wichmann is the former chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group, Incorporated, having served in that position from September 2017 through March 2021. Before this role, he served as president, UnitedHealth Group, beginning in November 2014, with oversight responsibility for all of UnitedHealthcare’s domestic and international businesses, and for overall UnitedHealth Group performance, and as chief financial officer of the UnitedHealth Group from 2011 until 2016. In addition, during his time at UnitedHealth Group.

Opinion: this has not been a normal year for medical devices and diagnostics as Covid has interrupted normal buying patterns. We expect that to eventually lead to some catch-up and Boston Scientific is a blue-chip that could be a big beneficiary.  Few would be in a better position to know medical trends than the recently retired CEO of the largest health insurance company in the industry.

 

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Name: Morningside Venture Investments Ltd
Position: CEO 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18  Shares Bought: 250,000 Average Price Paid: $40.00 Cost: $10,000,000
Company: Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (APLS)
Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development of therapeutic compounds through the inhibition of the complement system for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Its lead product candidate is pegcetacoplan that is in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of geographic atrophy in age-related macular degeneration and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) diseases; cold agglutinin disease; C3 glomerulopathy; and other glomerular diseases, such as IgA nephropathy, primary membranous nephropathy, and lupus nephritis. The company also develops APL-9, which is in single ascending dose Phase I randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled clinical trials for the prevention of immune system activation coincident with the adeno-associated virus for intravenous administration, as well as is in Phase I/II clinical trial for acute respiratory distress syndrome. It has a collaboration and license agreement with Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (publ) to co-develop pegcetacoplan, and research collaboration with Beam Therapeutics Inc. focused on the use of Beam’s base editing technology to discover new treatments for complement-driven diseases. The company was incorporated in 2009 and is based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Founded in 1992, 5Y Capital (formerly Morningside Venture Capital) is a venture capital firm based in Shanghai, China. The firm prefers to make minority seed, early-stage, and later-stage investments. The firm seeks to invest in media, consumer services, transportation, communications, networking, software, software-as-a-service, artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobile, and education technology sectors in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan. The firm is a subsidiary of the Morningside group.

Opinion: Biotech is hard enough right now. Add Chinese venture capital firms and I’m going to run from this.

 

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Name: Sloan Harry
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 50,000 Average Price Paid: $39.52 Cost: $1,976,000
Company: DraftKings Inc. (DKNG)
DraftKings Inc. is a digital sports entertainment and gaming company created to fuel the competitive spirit of sports fans with products that range across the daily fantasy, regulated gaming, and digital media. Headquartered in Boston, and launched in 2012 by Jason Robins, Matt Kalish, and Paul Liberman, DraftKings is the only U.S.-based vertically integrated sports betting operator. DraftKings is a multi-channel provider of sports betting and gaming technologies, powering sports and gaming entertainment for operators in 17 countries. DraftKings’ Sportsbook is live with mobile and/or retail betting operations in the United States pursuant to regulations in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. DraftKings’ daily fantasy sports product is available in 7 countries internationally with 15 distinct sports categories. DraftKings is the official daily fantasy partner of the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, and UFC as well as an authorized gaming operator of the NBA and MLB, an official sports betting partner of the NFL, an official betting operator of PGA TOUR, and the official betting operator of UFC. Launched in August 2021, DraftKings Marketplace is a digital collectibles ecosystem designed for mainstream accessibility that offers curated NFT drops and supports secondary-market transactions. DraftKings also owns Vegas Sports Information Network, Inc. (VSiN), a multi-platform broadcast and content company.

Harry Evans Sloan is a media investor, entrepreneur, and studio executive, and Vice Chairman of the Board. Mr. Sloan co-founded Flying Eagle (NASDAQ: FEAC), a special purpose acquisition vehicle, in 2020, and serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. Additionally, Mr. Sloan co-founded Global Eagle Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition vehicle, in 2011, serving as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer through its business combination with Row 44, Inc. and Advanced Inflight Alliance AG in January 2013, and remains a director of the combined company, Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: ENT). He was also a founding investor in a number of other special-purpose acquisition vehicles, including Silver Eagle Acquisition Corporation, in which he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from April 2013 through its business combination with Videocon d2h Limited (Nasdaq: VDTH) in March 2015, Double Eagle Acquisition Corporation, Platinum Eagle Acquisition Corporation, and DEAC.

Opinion: We’ve been shorting Draft King and watching it going down steadily. It’s hard to game out the possibilities of the sports betting app but it’s likely to be a survivor of the free for in the online gaming and gambling space.  This insider buy by part of the management team of the original SPAC merger with Global Eagle Entertainment.  Sloan has made so much money on the SPAC deal that he is playing with the house’s money.  For example, he sold $21.67 million worth of DKNG in June of 2020 at 38.8 per share.

Sloan is not the only one buying shares. ARK Investment has been adding to their ownership, buying 214,000 shares last Monday. ARK is all about disruptive companies that are likely to grow at faster rates for longer than the market anticipates. No telling how all of this sports betting will play out or even if it will be profitable in the near term. It’s hard to game out the possibilities of the sports betting app but it’s likely to be a survivor of the free for in the online gaming and gambling space but we’ve closed our short and gone long for the time being.

 

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Name: Lindahl Richard S
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15  Shares Bought: 3,000 Average Price Paid: $37.46 Cost: $112,380
Company: Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (EBS)
Emergent BioSolutions Inc., a life sciences company, focuses on the provision of preparedness and response products and solutions that address accidental, deliberate, and naturally occurring public health threats (PHTs). The company’s products address PHTs, which include chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives; emerging infectious diseases; travel health; and emerging health crises and acute/emergency care. It offers ACAM2000, a smallpox vaccine; BioThrax, an anthrax vaccine; Vaxchora, a cholera vaccine; and Vivotif, a typhoid vaccine. The company also provides NARCAN for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose; and Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion Kit. In addition, it offers raxibacumab for the treatment and prophylaxis of inhalational anthrax; Anthrasil to treat inhalational anthrax; Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent for treating botulinum disease; vaccinia immune globulin intravenous that addresses complications from smallpox vaccine; and Trobigard, a combination drug-device auto-injector product candidate. Further, the company is developing COVID-EIG and COVID-HIG for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2; FLU-IGIV for the treatment of seasonal influenza A virus; AV7909, an anthrax vaccine candidate; CHIKV VLP, a chikungunya virus VLP vaccine; ZIKV-IG, a zika therapeutic candidate; Shigella-ETEC, a Shigella vaccine expressing ETEC antigens; EBS-LASV, a vector vaccine for Lassa fever; UNI-FLU, a universal influenza vaccine; rVSV-Marburg, a vector vaccine for the treatment of Marburg virus disease; rVSV-Sudan, a vector vaccine for the treatment of Sudan virus disease; DAT, a diphtheria antitoxin; Ricin-IG, a ricin antitoxin; and Pan-Ebola, an Ebola/Sudan monoclonal. Additionally, it provides contract development and manufacturing service that comprises development services, drug substance manufacturing, and drug product manufacturing. Emergent BioSolutions Inc. was incorporated in 1998 and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Mr. Lindahl was appointed as executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer in March 2018. Mr. Lindahl has more than two decades of financial leadership experience. From May 2009 to April 2017, he was a chief financial officer of CEB Inc., a best practice insight and technology company. From 2006 to 2008, he served as senior vice president and treasurer of Sprint Nextel Corporation, and from 2005 to 2006, he served as vice president and treasurer of Sprint Nextel. From 1997 until 2005, Mr. Lindahl served in various positions at Nextel Communications, Inc., including as treasurer and in financial planning and analysis roles. Before joining Nextel, from 1995 until 1997, Mr. Lindahl held the position of vice president, finance at Pocket Communications, Inc. Before 1995, Mr. Lindahl held various positions at MCI Communications Corp., Deloitte & Touche LLP, and Casher Associates, Inc.

Opinion:  It’s a small purchase but it’s by our favorite corporate officer, the conservative by nature CFO. We’d like to see more buying or larger purchases in this poor-performing sector.

 

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Name: Bachman Robert W
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $36.75 Cost: $367,467
Company: Qualtrics International Inc. (XM)
Qualtrics International Inc. operates an experience management platform to manage customer, employee, product, and brand experiences worldwide. The company offers The Qualtrics Experience Management Platform, a system of action that helps businesses attract customers, engage employees, develop products, and build a brand. It also provides professional services that primarily consist of research services, through its DesignXM, which allows customers to gain market intelligence, as well as implementations, configurations, and integration and engineering services to help customers deploy its XM Platform. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Provo, Utah. Qualtrics International Inc. is a subsidiary of SAP America, Inc. Qualtrics launched a movement to create a cure for cancer. That movement, called 5 For The Fight, invites everyone to give $5 for the fight against cancer. Qualtrics also sponsors the patch on the jersey of the NBA’s Utah Jazz. But instead of putting the Qualtrics logo on the jersey, we donate it to 5 For The Fight.  As their technology scales from people and companies to communities and governments, They will begin to close gaps in ways they never dreamed possible. Not only will their technology power the world’s greatest companies, but by understanding human emotions, beliefs, sentiments, and values, they will close some of the world’s biggest gaps: political misunderstandings, human rights issues, health care disparities, gender equality, education, and income. Because many of the world’s most pressing problems occur from a lack of understanding – and that’s a problem they can solve.

Mr. Rob Bachman is a Chief Financial Officer at Qualtrics International, Inc. Robert has made  2 trades of the Qualtrics International stock since 2021, according to Form 4 filed with the SEC. Most recently Robert bought 10,000 units of XM stock worth $367,500 on 17 November 2021. The largest trade Robert’s ever made was buying 10,000 units of Qualtrics International stock on 17 November 2021 worth over $367,500.  As of 17 November 2021 Robert still owns at least  517,301 units of Qualtrics International stock.

Opinion: Qualtrics has been on a steady slide since its 23.81M secondary price on November 4th at $42 per share. Perhaps the insider buy will arrest the slide in XM stock but we’re not overly optimistic about that.  This has been one of the worst weeks for short-term insider buying performance. The normal boost in price from a significant insider buy has been largely absent.

 

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Name: Rabaut Thomas W
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-10 Shares Bought: 5,475 Average Price Paid: $36.59 Cost: $200,340
Company: Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (ALSN)
Allison Transmission Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and sells commercial and defense fully-automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and medium- and heavy-tactical U.S. defense vehicles worldwide. It offers transmissions for various applications, including distribution, refuse, construction, fire, and emergency on-highway trucks; school and transit buses; motor homes; energy, mining, and construction off-highway vehicles and equipment; and wheeled and tracked defense vehicles. The company markets its transmissions under the Allison Transmission brand name, and remanufactured transmissions under the ReTran brand name. It also sells branded replacement parts, support equipment, aluminum die-cast components, and other products necessary to service the installed base of vehicles utilizing its transmissions, as well as defense kits, engineering services, and extended transmission coverage services to various original equipment manufacturers, distributors, and the U.S. government. The company serves customers through an independent network of approximately 1,400 independent distributors and dealer locations. The company was formerly known as Clutch Holdings, Inc. Allison Transmission Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1915 and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Thomas W. Rabaut has served as a Director of Allison Transmission Holdings, Inc. since August 2007. Mr. Rabaut currently serves as an Operating Executive for The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset management firm, and has held that position since 2007. In that capacity, he has fulfilled a number of executive roles including the current Chairman of Walbro, LLC, and past Chairman of SIGNODE Industries. Veyance Technologies and ARINC Industries, Inc. He also serves on the board of KAMAN Corporation and is Chairman of the Board of Saab Defence and Security LLC. Rabaut also served on the board of CYTEC Industries Inc. until it was recently acquired by the SOLVAY Group. 

Opinion: Allison is a value play. It’s got no sizzle though and I’d rather be in Illionois Tools works which also has a big transmission business.

 

 

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Name: Walsh Joe
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15  Shares Bought: 45,000 Average Price Paid: $35.50 Cost: $1,597,500
Company: Thryv Holdings Inc. (THRY)
Thryv Holdings, Inc. provides digital marketing solutions and cloud-based tools to small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the United States. The company operates through three segments: SaaS (Software as a Service), Marketing Services, and Thryv International. The SaaS segment provides Thryv, an SMB end-to-end customer experience platform, which is integrated with Google; and ThryvPay, a payment solution that allows users to get paid through credit card and ACH. The Marketing Services segment provides print and digital solutions, including the company’s print yellow pages; internet yellow pages, such as yellowpages.com, superpages.com, and dexknows.com; search engine marketing solutions; and other digital media solutions, such as online display and social advertising, online presence, and video and SEO tools. The Thryv International segment provides digital marketing and directory services. The company was formerly known as Dex Media Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to Thryv Holdings, Inc. in July 2019. Thryv Holdings, Inc. is based in DFW Airport, Texas.

Joe served Yellowbook as President and CEO for over 20 years where he led the company through a series of acquisitions and new market launches, as well as unprecedented growth online. The company saw U.S. revenue expand from $38 million to $2 billion, with revenue doubling every two years for more than a dozen years. Global revenues topped $4 billion following a successful IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Joe is a past winner of Ernst and Young’s “Master Entrepreneur of the Year.” A front-page feature in the Wall Street Journal highlighted his accomplishments in an article titled “Yellow Book USA Grabs Business from Baby Bells with Cheap Ads.” In 2010, Joe was among an elite group of U.S. leaders selected to participate in the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference sponsored by the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

Opinion: It’s really hard to say what the business of Thryv really is. It began as a Yellow Pages story.  Remember those bulky things the phone company used to leave on your doorstep. It has acquired some businesses and recently popped on the first consecutive revenue growth since its lastest public incarnation. We’re leaving this alone.

 

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Name: Myers Franklin
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-12  Shares Bought: 20,000  Average Price Paid: $34.56 Cost: $691,200
Company: HollyFrontier Corp. (HFC)
HollyFrontier Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refiner in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Refining, Lubricants, and Specialty Products, and HEP. It primarily produces high-value light products, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, and specialty lubricant products, as well as specialty and modified asphalt. The company offers its products to other refiners, convenience store chains, independent marketers, retailers, truck stop chains, wholesalers, railroads, governmental entities, and paving contractors or manufacturers, as well as for commercial airline use. It owns and operates 4 refineries with a combined crude oil processing capacity of approximately 405,000 barrels per day in El Dorado, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Artesia, New Mexico; and Woods Cross, Utah. The company also owns and operates vacuum distillation and other facilities in Lovington, New Mexico, as well as asphalt terminals in Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Its refineries serve markets in the Mid-Continent, Southwest, and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. In addition, HollyFrontier Corporation produces base oils and other specialized lubricant products; and owns and operates logistic assets consisting of petroleum product and crude oil pipelines, terminals, tankage, loading rack facilities, and refinery processing units. The company was formerly known as Holly Corporation and changed its name to HollyFrontier Corporation as a result of its merger with Frontier Oil Corporation in July 2011. HollyFrontier Corporation was incorporated in 1947 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Mr. Myers has served as the Chairman of the Board of HollyFrontier since February 2019. Mr. Myers has served as a senior advisor of Quantum Energy Partners, a private equity firm, since February 2013. Myers served as an operating advisor to Paine & Partners, LLC, a private equity firm, from 2009 through 2012 and as Senior Advisor to Cameron International Corporation, a publicly-traded provider of flow equipment products, from 2008 until 2009. He served Cameron in various other capacities, including as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2003 through 2008, President of Cameron’s compression business from 1998 through 2001, and Senior Vice President and General Counsel from 1995 through 1999.

Opinion: Insiders have been buying this independent refinery. The obsolescence of crude oil has been grossly exaggerated . Despite the fight against climate change, the world economy is as addicted to oil as it was before the pandemic. Global consumption is now back to about 100 million barrels a day, a level last seen in 2019.  Despite the release of strategic reserves on Tuesday, Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, has climbed back above $80 a barrel and Saudi oil production will hit 10 million barrels a day next month, well above pre-Covid levels.

 

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Name: Rainbolt David E
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-11 Shares Bought: 3,000 Average Price Paid: $34.31 Cost: $102,920
Company: Oge Energy Corp. (OGE)
OGE Energy Corp. is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol OGE. It is the parent company of Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E), a regulated utility. It holds a 25.6 percent limited partner interest and a 50 percent general partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, headquartered in Oklahoma City.  Formed in 1902, OG&E is Oklahoma’s oldest and largest investor-owned electric utility. They serve more than 858,000 customers in 267 towns and cities in a 30,000 square mile area of Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Oklahoma City’s largest city has a metro area population of approximately 1.5 million people on its system. But they also serve towns like Enid, Ardmore, Muskogee, Norman, Durant, Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and many other smaller communities throughout their service territory. They have approximately 2,200 employees who live and work in the very towns they serve. Their power plants, located throughout Oklahoma, generate electricity using natural gas, coal, wind, and solar power. They are incredibly proud that they, as a company, have some of the lowest rates in the entire nation. And, because of their strong system reliability and high customer satisfaction, they are consistently ranked in surveys as one of the highest performing utilities in the nation. 

Independent Director, OGE Energy Corp. Presently, David E. Rainbolt is Executive Chairman at BancFirst Corp. (Oklahoma) and Executive Chairman of BancFirst (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) (a subsidiary of BancFirst Corp. (Oklahoma)). Mr. Rainbolt is also on the board of 6 other companies. In his past career, Mr. Rainbolt occupied the position of Senior Financial Analyst at Republic Bank (St. Petersburg, Florida Branch), Chairman of Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Chairman of Oklahoma Bankers Association, and Principal at Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.

Opinion: It’s a small purchase but we love the regulated utility business.

 

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Name: Myers Paul Chadwick
Position: Vice Chair JHLLC
Transaction Date: 2021-11-12  Shares Bought: 38,925 Average Price Paid: $32.95 Cost: $1,282,635
Company: Jackson Financial Inc. (JXN)
Jackson Financial Inc., through its subsidiaries, primarily provides a suite of annuities as retirement savings and income solutions to retail investors in the United States. It offers variable, fixed index, and fixed annuities. The company’s variable annuities offer investors a selection of funds, including domestic and international funds, actively and passively managed funds, and professionally managed asset allocation funds, as well as small, mid, and large-cap funds. It also offers traditional guaranteed investment contracts, Federal Home Loan Bank funding agreements, and medium-term note funding agreements; life insurance products; investment management; and capital and risk management services. The company sells its products through a distribution network that includes independent broker-dealers, wirehouses, regional broker-dealers, banks, independent registered investment advisors, third-party platforms, and insurance agents. Jackson Financial Inc. was formerly known as Brooke (Holdco1) Inc. and changed its name to Jackson Financial Inc. in July 2020. The company was incorporated in 2006 and is based in Lansing, Michigan offices with additional offices in Franklin, Tennessee, and Chicago, Illinois. Jackson Financial Inc. was formerly a subsidiary of Prudential (US Holdco 1) Limited.

Chad Myers has direct responsibility for Jackson’s asset management and institutional product teams, including JNAM (Jackson National Asset Management LLC®) and PPM (PPM America, Inc.). He also oversees the Investor Relations and Government Relations teams, while providing insight, skills, and creativity to the executive team in support of the company’s strategic initiatives and growth. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Claremont McKenna College and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Opinion: Jackson Financial is a leader in variable annuities.  Does anyone want them though?

 

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Name: Cleves Thomas A
Position: VP
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15 Shares Bought: 19,340 Average Price Paid: $32.44 Cost: $627,341
Company: Sylvamo Corp. (SLVM)
Sylvamo Corporation produces and supplies printing paper in Latin America, Europe, and North America. The company offers uncoated freesheets for paper products, such as cut size and offset paper; and markets pulp, aseptic, and liquid packaging board, as well as coated unbleached kraft papers. It also produces hardwood pulp, including bleached hardwood kraft and bleached eucalyptus kraft; bleached softwood kraft; and bleached chemical-thermomechanical pulp. The company distributes its products through a variety of channels, including merchants and distributors, office product suppliers, retailers, and dealers. It also sells directly to converters that produce envelopes, forms, and other related products. The company was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. They believe in the promise of paper to educate, communicate and entertain. Paper connects them to one another and is an enduring bond to renewable natural resources. Their purpose is to produce the paper you need in the most responsible and sustainable way possible. They aim high, innovate and create value for their customers and investors. The future of paper deserves a company committed to the success of the entire ecosystem. From the forests they love, to the communities where they live, to those who rely on their paper, they know the well-being of each depends on the well-being of all. They are Sylvamo, built to help the world realize the promise of paper.

Tom Cleves entered the paper and packaging industry in 1983 and joined International Paper in 1987 with the acquisition of Hammermill Paper Company. During his career, Tom worked in a number of leadership roles, most recently serving as vice president, Global Citizenship, with responsibility for sustainability, community engagement, communications, and corporate marketing. Tom serves on the board of trustees for Memphis Museums and the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.

Opinion: A paper mill spin-off doesn’t attract fast money.  Insiders though want to own it, particularly below the IPO process.

 

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Name: Hass A John
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-11  Shares Bought: 8,000 Average Price Paid: $30.27 Cost: $242,183

Name: Wolf Dale B
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-11  Shares Bought: 27,000 Average Price Paid: $29.71 Cost: $802,275

Name: Russell Erin L
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-12  Shares Bought: 3,556 Average Price Paid: $28.12 Cost: $99,998
Company: eHealth Inc. (EHTH)
eHealth, Inc. provides private health insurance exchange services to individuals, families, and small businesses in the United States and China. Its eCommerce platforms organize and present health insurance information in various formats that enable individuals, families, and small businesses to research, analyze, compare, and purchase a range of health insurance plans. The company operates through two segments, Medicare; and Individual, Family, and Small Business. It operates a marketplace that offers consumers a choice of insurance products that include Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D prescription drug, individual and family, small business, and other ancillary health insurance products from health insurance carriers. The company markets health insurance plans through its websites, such as eHealth.com, eHealthInsurance.com, eHealthMedicare.com, Medicare.com, PlanPrescriber.com, and GoMedigap.com, as well as through a network of marketing partners. The company also licenses its health insurance e-commerce technology that enables health insurance carriers to market and distribute health insurance plans online, and provides online sponsorship and advertising, and lead referral services. eHealth, Inc. was incorporated in 1997 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

John Hass most recently served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Rosetta Stone, leading its transformation from a CD-based language company to a growing, subscription-based educational technology business serving K-12 schools, corporations, and consumers. From 1988 to October 2006, he worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in roles of increasing responsibility, culminating in serving as a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division.

Dale Wolf has served as a director since 2013 and as chairman of the board since 2017. Mr. Wolf has served as president and chief executive officer from 2016 to 2019, and executive chairman from 2015 to 2016, of One Call Care Management, and has been the president and chief executive officer of DBW Healthcare, Inc. since 2014. Mr. Wolf served as the executive chairman of Correctional Healthcare Companies, Inc., a national provider of correctional health care solutions, from 2012 to 2014. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Wolf served as chief executive officer of Coventry Health Care, Inc., a diversified national health care company, and served as the executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer of Coventry Health Care, Inc. from 1996 to 2004. Mr. Wolf was also a member of the board of directors of Correctional Healthcare Companies, Inc.

Ms. Russell has served as a member of the board of directors of Kadant Inc., a global supplier of engineered systems, since January 2019, and as a board member of Tivity Health Inc., a leading provider of healthy living, fitness, and social engagement solutions, since March 2020. She has also served as an industry advisor of Starboard Value Acquisition Corporation, a blank check company formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization, or similar business combination with one or more businesses, since August 2020. Previously, she was a principal of Vestar Capital Partners, L.P., a private equity firm specializing in management buyouts, recapitalization, and growth equity investments, from August 2001 until April 2017.

Opinion: The stock chart is punishing. Online health insurance looks lethal to investors. Medical loss ratios are killing investors. I’d stay away for now until the investing carnage settles out.

 

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Name: Civik Thomas
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 7,500 Average Price Paid: $28.08 Cost: $210,600
Company: Repare Therapeutics Inc. (RPTX)
Repare Therapeutics Inc., a precision oncology company, discovers and develops novel therapeutics by using its synthetic lethality approach in Canada and the United States. The company uses its SNIPRx, a proprietary, genome-wide, and CRISPR-enabled platform to systematically discover and develop highly targeted cancer therapies focused on genomic instability, including DNA damage repair. Its lead product candidate is RP-3500, an oral small-molecule inhibitor for the treatment of solid tumors with specific DNA damage repair-related genomic alterations. It is also developing RP-6306, a proprietary drug discovery program for tumors with genetic alterations characterized by CCNE1 amplification; and Polymerase Theta program, an SL target associated with BRCA mutations and other genomic alterations. Repare Therapeutics Inc. was incorporated in 2016 and is headquartered in Montréal, Canada.

Thomas Civik Chairman, Repare Therapeutics, Inc. Currently, Thomas Civik holds the position of Chairman of Repare Therapeutics, Inc. He is also on the board of Pyxis Oncology, Inc. In the past, he held the position of President, Chief Executive Officer & Director at Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., Chief Commercial Officer of Foundation Medicine, Inc. and Vice President-Avastin Sales & Marketing at Genentech, Inc. Thomas Civik received an MBA from Kellogg School of Management and an undergraduate degree from St. Norbert College, Inc.

Opinion: Development stage biotechs are not in vogue. This is a bear market in biotech and I imagine it will get increasingly expensive and difficult to raise money.  All of these developmental biotech stage companies are constantly selling stock and raising money until they have a drug approved or a deep pocket pharmaceutical company as a partner.

 

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Name: Morfitt Martha A M
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-09-29  Shares Bought: 33,000 Average Price Paid: $25.98 Cost: $857,190
Company: Olaplex Holdings Inc. (OLPX)
OLAPLEX is an innovative science-enabled and technology-driven beauty company. They are founded on the principle of delivering effective, patent-protected, and proven performance in the categories where they compete. They strive to empower their consumers to look as beautiful on the outside as they feel on the inside. They believe every person deserves to have healthy beautiful hair, whether they are visiting a salon or caring for their hair at home. Their commitment to delivering results that are visible on first use, coupled with their strong sense of community across both professional hairstylists and consumers, has driven tremendous brand loyalty. They offer their award-winning products through a global omnichannel platform serving the professional, specialty retail, and direct-to-consumer (“DTC ”) channels. Olaplex Holdings Inc. (OLPX) is a scientifically-driven beauty company primarily focused on manufacturing luxury hair care products for the professional hair care industry. The company’s portfolio includes products for both professional and home use, including shampoos, conditioners, and bond multipliers.2 The company has 100 patents. Its products are based on scientifically supported designs aimed at treating damaged hair. Olaplex went public on the Nasdaq on Sept. 30, 2021, at $21 a share, significantly above its original range of $17–$19. The offering sold a total of 73.7 million shares, up from an initial 67 million, after a greenshoe option was exercised.

Ms. Martha A. Morfitt is an Independent Director at lululemon Athletica, Inc., a President & Chief Executive Officer at River Rock Partners, Inc., an Independent Director at Graco, Inc., and a Chairman at Grey Oaks Country Club, Inc. She is on the Board of Directors at Olaplex Holdings, Inc., lululemon Athletica, Inc., and Graco, Inc. Ms. Morfitt was previously employed as an Independent Director by Mercer International, Inc., a Chief Executive Officer by Airborne, Inc. (Minnesota), an Independent Director by Life Time Fitness, Inc., a President, Chief Executive Officer & Director by CNS, Inc. (Delaware), a Vice President by The Pillsbury Co. LLC, and a Secretary & Trustee by American Public Media Group. She also served on the board at Minnesota Public Radio, Solta Medical, Inc., Intrawest ULC, Softpac Industries, Inc., and Food Products Association. She received her undergraduate degree from Richard Ivey School of Business and an MBA from The Schulich School of Business.

Opinion: Don’t chase IPOs in this market. They will come back

 

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Name: Brown Joseph W
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-12  Shares Bought: 20,000  Average Price Paid: $27.07 Cost: $541,500
Company: Global Indemnity Group LLC. (GBLI)
Global Indemnity Group provides specialty property and casualty coverage for a wide range of markets—from small businesses, manufactured homes, and vacant property to agriculture, professional lines, collectibles, and more. But for all their seeming diversity, these markets have one thing in common. All represent areas typically underserved by more traditional insurance and reinsurance companies: markets in which the member companies that comprise Global Indemnity successfully pursue the mutual goal of profitable growth.  Global Indemnity provides specialty property and casualty coverage for a wide range of markets—from small businesses, manufactured homes, and vacant property to agriculture, professional lines, collectibles, and more. But for all their seeming diversity, these markets have one thing in common. All represent areas typically underserved by more traditional insurance and reinsurance companies: markets in which the member companies that comprise Global Indemnity successfully pursue the mutual goal of profitable growth. Nothing embodies the idea of “Many paths. One direction.” more than the people of Global Indemnity. From their home office to the entire network of agents and producers in the U.S. and abroad, they are the sum of their skills, talents, and determination.

Mr. Joseph W. Brown, Jr., is a Chairman at MBIA Insurance Corp., a Member of CPCU Society, and a Member of The American Academy of Actuaries. He is on the Board of Directors at Global Indemnity Group LLC. Mr. Brown was previously employed as an Independent Director by Global Indemnity Ltd., an Executive Chairman by MBIA, Inc., a Non-Executive Chairman by Safeco Property & Casualty Insurance Cos., a Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer by Talegen Holdings, Inc., and a President & Chief Executive Officer by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. He also served on the board at Global Indemnity Plc, MBIA, Inc., and Oxford Health Plans (CT), Inc. He received his undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University.

Opinion: Global warming has been tough on property and casualty insurers. Rates are probably going up considerably to account for this risk. 

 

 

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Name: Zax Stanley R
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 17,500 Average Price Paid: $23.18 Cost: $405,650
Company: Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. (KW)
Kennedy Wilson (NYSE: KW) is a global real estate investment company. They own, operate, and invest in real estate on their own. Through their investment management platform—they focus on multifamily and office properties located in the Western U.S., U.K., and Ireland. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Kennedy Wilson has 12 global offices located throughout the U.S. and Europe. They use real-time information from their global platform and the long-term relationships developed with major institutions. They Focused on enhancing the value of their real estate through asset management, redevelopment, and repositioning. Kennedy Wilson pursues multifamily acquisition opportunities where they can unlock value through a myriad of strategies, including institutional management, asset rehabilitation, repositioning, and creative recapitalization. They focus primarily on apartments in supply-constrained, infill markets. They currently hold investments in more than 28,500 multifamily units, totaling 14M square feet, located in the Western U.S. (primarily Greater Seattle, San Francisco – Bay Area, and Greater Los Angeles) and Dublin, Ireland.

Stanley R. Zax Independent Director, Kennedy-Wilson Holdings, Inc. Stanley R. Zax is a businessperson who has been at the helm of 5 different companies and currently holds the position of Chairman for Zenith Insurance Plc. He is also on the board of Kennedy-Wilson, Inc., Beverly Hills Cemetery Corp., and Kennedy-Wilson Holdings, Inc. Mr. Zax previously held the position of Partner at Friedman, Mulligan, Dillon & Uris, Chairman at Zenith Insurance Co., Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer at Zenith National Insurance Corp., President & Chief Executive Officer of Great American Insurance Co.

Opinion: It’s been a tough sell on office REITS but multi-family rents are going up.

 

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Name: Rutherford John R
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 10,000  Average Price Paid: $22.86 Cost: $228,632
Company: Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD)
Enterprise Products Partners L.P. provides midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, petrochemicals, and refined products. The company operates through four segments: NGL Pipelines & Services, Crude Oil Pipelines & Services, Natural Gas Pipelines & Services, and Petrochemical & Refined Products Services. The NGL Pipelines & Services segment offers natural gas processing and related NGL marketing services. It operates 21 natural gas processing facilities in Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming; NGL pipelines; NGL fractionation facilities; NGL and related product storage facilities; and NGL marine terminals. The Crude Oil Pipelines & Services segment operates crude oil pipelines; and crude oil storage and marine terminals, including a fleet of 310 tractor-trailer tank trucks used to transport liquefied petroleum gas. It also engages in crude oil marketing activities. The Natural Gas Pipelines & Services segment operates natural gas pipeline systems to gather, treat, and transport natural gas. It leases underground salt dome natural gas storage facilities in Napoleonville, Louisiana; owns an underground salt dome storage cavern in Wharton County, Texas; and markets natural gas. The Petrochemical & Refined Products Services segment operates propylene fractionation and related marketing activities; butane isomerization complex and related deisobutanizer units; and octane enhancement and high purity isobutylene production facilities. It also operates refined products pipelines and terminals; and ethylene export terminals, and provides refined products marketing and marine transportation services. The company was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Mr. Rutherford was elected as a director of Enterprise GP in January 2019 and is a member of its Audit and Conflicts Committee. He is a Senior Managing Director of NRI Energy Partners LLC. This firm evaluates and invests in private and public energy companies and provides financial and strategic consulting services to energy companies and investment firms.  His career includes over 20 years of investment banking experience as mergers and acquisitions and strategic advisor to public and private energy companies, investment firms, management teams, and boards of directors. Before joining Plains, Mr. Rutherford served as Managing Director of the North American Energy Practice of Lazard Freres & Company from 2007 until 2010. Before joining Lazard, he was a partner at Simmons & Company for over ten years.

Opinion:   I don’t believe EV vehicles will really go mainstream until they are cost-competitive or better with the combustion engine automobile.  They have far fewer parts and theoretically should be cheaper. There is one major constraint, the battery.  Lithium batteries are very expensive and there is no sign yet of them going down in price in spite of what the pundits are saying.

Prices of lithium carbonate assessed by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence have reached new all-time highs on the back of limited supply and high and sustained lithium ion battery demand in China. Benchmark’s EXW China (Battery) grade of lithium carbonate rose by 26.5% to RMB 160,000/tonne ($24,800) in the final two weeks of September 2021. This surpasses the previous high of $24,750/tonne for battery grade lithium carbonate assessed on 30 March 2018 and marks a new era for the lithium industry.

The highest end of Benchmark’s published range for our EXW China grade in September reached RMB 180,000/tonne ($27,900). During the month, Benchmark’s EXW China (Technical) grade of lithium carbonate increased by 29.5%, marking some of the largest price jumps ever experienced in the lithium industry. Nickel and cobalt cathodes are expensive too.

The cost of going green is expensive and without a supply response or government intervention to favor EV vehicles, it’s going to be a long slug to replace the combustion engine. In the words of Mark Twain, “the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

 

 

 

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Name: Bressler Richard J
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 22,615 Average Price Paid: $22.14 Cost: $500,658
Company: iHeartMedia In. (IHRT)
iHeartMedia, Inc. operates as a media and entertainment company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Audio and Audio & Media Services. The Audio segment offers broadcast radio, digital, mobile, podcasts, social, program syndication, traffic, weather, news, and sports data distribution, and on-demand entertainment, as well as live events, including mobile platforms and products; and operates Premiere Networks, a national radio network that produces, distributes, or represents approximately 120 syndicated radio programs and services to approximately 6,500 radio station affiliates. It also delivers real-time traffic and incident information, weather updates, sports, and news through approximately 2,100 radio stations and 170 television affiliates, and Internet and mobile partnerships. As of December 31, 2020, this segment owned 858 radio stations, including 244 AM and 614 FM radio stations. The Audio and Media Services segment engages in the media representation business. This segment also provides broadcast and webcast software, such as radio station automation, music scheduling, HD2 solutions, newsroom software, audio logging and archiving single station automation, and contest tracking software; and real-time audio recognition technology to approximately 9,000 radio stations, television music channels, cable companies, satellite music networks, and Internet stations. The company was formerly known as CC Media Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to iHeartMedia, Inc. in September 2014. iHeartMedia, Inc. is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

Richard J. Bressler is a businessperson who has been at the head of 9 different companies. Mr. Bressler occupies the position of President, Chief Operating Officer, CFO & Director at iHeartMedia, Inc. and President, Chief Financial Officer & Director at Capstar Radio Operating Co., President, COO, Chief Financial Officer & Director at iHeartMedia Capital I LLC, President, COO, Chief Financial Officer & Director at iHeartCommunications, Inc. and President, Chief Financial Officer & Director at iHeartMedia + Entertainment, Inc. (which are all subsidiaries of iHeartMedia, Inc.). He is also Chairman-Arts Deans Council School at The Trustees of Columbia University in The City of New York and on the board of 5 other companies. In the past, he was Chief Executive Officer at AOL Time Warner Investments, Chief Financial Officer for Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., and President, Chief Operating & Financial Officer at Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.

Opinion: If you believe local radio stations have a future, this is the only way to bet on it.

 

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Name: Hickson Mark E
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15 Shares Bought: 44,900 Average Price Paid: $21.90 Cost: $983,507

Name: McDermott William R
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 11,359 Average Price Paid: $21.81 Cost: $247,758
Company: Fisker Inc. (FSR)
Fisker Inc. is an American electric vehicle automaker founded by Henrik Fisker and his wife Geeta Gupta-Fisker. Launched in 2016 and based in Southern California, Fisker Inc. was preceded by Fisker Automotive (founded in 2007 by Henrik Fisker), which produced the Fisker Karma. Fisker Inc. is developing the Fisker Ocean, an all-electric SUV made from recycled and vegan materials, with an estimated range of 300-350 miles. On July 13, 2020, Fisker Inc. announced an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange through a merger with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp (NYSE: SPAQ), which is backed by private equity firm Apollo Global Management. On October 30, 2020, Fisker Inc. completed the reverse merger and is now listed under the ticker. The Fisker Ocean will have a set of technologies that enable owners to recharge other EVs, send power to the electrical grid, and use their vehicles as a backup source of emergency power for their homes. The company calls these technologies PowerCar, Power Grid, and PowerHouse. Fisker’s proprietary Advanced Driver Assist System, Fisker Intelligent Pilot, is built to enhance driver protection, safety, and comfort. This proactive safety system of automated electronic sensors (radar, ultrasonic sensors, and cameras) and processing software continuously sense inputs, adds intelligence, and then engages when necessary to anticipate and prevent accidents. The ADAS provides a broad range of advanced warning functions, safety-driven braking functions, and driver convenience features. Each feature expands a driver’s ability to sense dangers and then intuitively controls the Fisker Ocean more safely.

Mr. Hickson has served on Fisker’s Board of Directors since July 2020. Since 2012, Mr. Hickson has served as the Executive Vice President of Corporate Development, Strategy, Quality & Integration at NextEra Energy, Inc., a public company. Mr. Hickson also serves as the Executive Vice President of Corporate Development, Strategy, Quality & Integration at NextEra Energy Partners, LP, an affiliate of NextEra Energy, Inc., and serves on its board of directors. Previously, Mr. Hickson served as a Managing Director of Global M&A in the Global Energy & Power Group at Merrill Lynch & Co. Mr. Hickson holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University, and a Master of Business Administration, Finance from Columbia University, New York.

Opinion: Fisker debuted a hot futuristic EV SUV  at the latest Los Angeles auto show priced way below all major competitors in the product category. If they can deliver it at this price, they will sell all they can make.  The problem is they probably can’t.  That might not stop investors from taking the plunge. We’re in this name as all things EV are moving. At least a couple of directors seem to believe this is possible.

 

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Name: Koci Keith
Position: VP
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $21.83 Cost: $218,270
Company: Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (CLF)
Cliffs are the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America. Founded in 1847 as a mine operator, They are also the largest supplier of iron ore pellets in North America. In 2020, They acquired two major steelmakers, AK Steel and ArcelorMittal USA, vertically integrating their legacy iron ore business with quality-focused steel production and emphasis on the automotive end market. Their fully integrated portfolio includes custom-made pellets and HBI; flat-rolled carbon steel, stainless, electrical, plate, tinplate, and long steel products; as well as carbon and stainless steel tubing, hot and cold stamping, and tooling. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, They employ approximately 25,000 people across their mining, steel, and downstream manufacturing operations in the United States and Canada. Cleveland-Cliffs has been traditionally recognized as the largest and oldest independent iron ore mining company in the United States. In 2020, Cleveland-Cliffs conducted a transformation that will keep the company thriving for the next century with the acquisition of two prominent steel companies in the United States. Today, They are now the largest flat-rolled steel company and the largest iron ore pellet producer in North America.  They are vertically integrated from mining through iron making, steelmaking, rolling, finishing, and downstream with hot and cold stamping of steel parts and components. They have the unique advantage of being self-sufficient with the production of the raw materials for their steelmaking operations. As they expand their presence, They continue to operate environmentally responsible and safe. With ongoing initiatives to reduce waste, improve water conservation, and reduce carbon emissions by 25% by 2030, They promise to become North America’s leader in steelmaking and mining sustainability.

Mr. Koci is Executive Vice President & President, Cleveland-Cliffs Services. He has executive oversight for procurement, logistics, production planning, IT, and scrap recycling as well as sales for iron units. He leads the growth of Cleveland-Cliffs’ raw material portfolio, with a primary emphasis on expanding Cliffs’ presence in the domestic scrap recycling market. Prior to his current position, Mr. Koci was Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and had executive responsibility for Finance, Accounting, Tax, Treasury, and Investor Relations. Mr. Koci joined Cleveland-Cliffs in February 2019 from Metals USA, Inc., where he served most recently as its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Opinion: The infrastructure bill looks like a good thing for Cleveland Cliffs. White House ceremony Nov. 15, marks the largest investment in US infrastructure since the Federal Highway Act of 1956.

“This day is long-awaited, not just by those of us in the steel industry but by all Americans,” Kevin Dempsey, CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute, said in a statement. “…. We applaud the fact that the new law, and the executive order implementing it, have a strong focus on enhancing US competitiveness and using American-made products – including by using American-made steel, which is cleaner and more sustainable than steel made in the other leading steel-producing countries.”

Ahead of the bill’s signing on Nov. 14, the White House said former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu would serve as senior advisor responsible for coordinating the implementation of the bill. On Nov. 15 the White House announced the establishment of the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force, co-chaired by Landrieu and National Economic Council director Brian Deese, which will coordinate the implementation of the law across the government.

Among six priorities for implementation laid out by Biden’s administration, Buy American was listed second, with the White House looking to increase the competitiveness of the US economy, including through implementing the bill’s Made-in-America requirements and bolstering domestic manufacturing and manufacturing supply chains.

Steel-intensive funding in the legislation includes $110 billion for roads, bridges, and major projects, $66 billion for passenger and freight rail, $39 billion for public transit, and $7.5 billion for electric vehicles.

 

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Name: Wood John B
Position: CEO Chairman
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 100,000 Average Price Paid: $18.14 Cost: $1,814,000
Company: Telos Corp. (TLS)
Telos Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides information technology (IT) solutions and services worldwide. It provides Xacta, a premier platform for enterprise cyber risk management and security compliance automation solutions to large commercial and government enterprises; and Telos Ghost, a solution to eliminating cyber-attack surfaces by obfuscating and encrypting data, masking user identity and location, and hiding network resources, as well as provides security and privacy for intelligence gathering, cyber threat protection, securing critical infrastructure, and protecting communications and applications. The company also offers Telos Automated Message Handling System, web-based organizational message distribution and management platform for mission-critical communications used by military field operatives; and Telos ID that provides identity trust and digital services through IDTrust360, an enterprise-class digital identity risk platform for extending software-as-a-service and custom digital identity services that reduces threats through the integration of advanced technologies that fuse biometrics, credentials, and other identity-centric data used for continuously monitor trust. In addition, it provides secure network services, including secure mobility solutions for business and government that enable remote work and minimize concern across and beyond the enterprises; and network management and defense services for operating, administrating, and defending complex enterprise networks and defensive cyber operations. The company was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia.

John B. Wood is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Telos Corporation, a leading provider of continuous security solutions and services for the world’s most security-conscious agencies and organizations. In these roles, he orchestrates the company’s support of corporations and government agencies worldwide in cyber, cloud, and enterprise security. With the company since 1992, As CEO, John has diversified the company’s product portfolio and expanded its footprint to include commercial enterprises, the military, civilian and intelligence agencies of the federal government, and allied nations around the world. Under John’s leadership, Telos offerings have become the official messaging system of record for the Department of Defense and the database of record for the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Opinion: TLS pissed off and embarrassed a lot of Wall St. analysts and they let the company have it. Not that that helps investors who have been crushed by Telos. BMO lowered their price target from $32 to $22 with new estimates have less downside. Needham reduced its price to $22 from $47, Davidson from $47 to $22 but says their core business warrants a much higher valuation than 3.5 x revenues.

The CEO states he is “pleased with our performance this quarter.” Normally I would puke over these cheerleading words when a stock loses 25% of its value in one day on weak earnings and forecast. In this case, the CEO stepped up and put his money where his mouth is buying $1.8M at $18.14.

This one will take time but I would start buying here.

 

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Name: Spodek Andrew
Position: CEO 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 58,823 Average Price Paid: $17.00 Cost: $999,991
Company: Postal Realty Trust Inc. (PSTL)
Postal Realty Trust, Inc. is an internally managed real estate investment trust that owns and manages over 1,000 properties leased to the USPS. The Company believes it is one of the largest owners and managers of properties leased to the USPS. Their multi-generational passion for the USPS is the foundation of everything they do at Postal Realty Trust. For more than thirty years, Their founders have been proud owners of this vital component of America’s logistics infrastructure. Their growing portfolio consists of over 1,250 properties primarily leased to the USPS, ranging from last milepost offices to larger industrial facilities. As the first-of-its-kind publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on postal assets, Postal Realty Trust (NYSE: PSTL) has the scale and expertise to deliver reliable growth to their investors and be a dependable partner and resource to their fellow postal property owners.

Andrew Spodek is a chief executive officer and is a member of our board of directors. Mr. Spodek was the founder and CEO of predecessor management entity Nationwide Postal Management, Inc., or NPM. Mr. Spodek has over 20 years of experience exclusively focused on investing in and managing post office properties. Prior to founding NPM, Mr. Spodek led acquisitions and property management for his family’s private real estate investment activities. Mr. Spodek sits on the board of directors of the Association of United States Postal Lessors. Mr. Spodek earned an M.S. in Real Estate from New York University and a B.B.A. in Finance & International Management from Boston University.

Opinion:

 

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Name: Svider Raymond
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-12 Shares Bought: 59,000 Average Price Paid: $16.97 Cost: $1,001,230
Company: Altice USA Inc. (ATUS)
Altice USA, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides broadband communications and video services in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. It offers broadband, video, telephony, and mobile services to approximately 5 million residential and business customers. The company’s video services include delivery of broadcast stations and cable networks; over-the-top services; video-on-demand, high-definition channels, digital video recorder, and pay-per-view services; and platforms for video programming through mobile applications. It also provides VoIP telephone services; and mobile services, such as data, talk, and text. In addition, the company offers Ethernet, data transport, IP-based virtual private networks, Internet access, and telephony services; hosted telephony services, managed Wi-Fi, managed desktop and server backup, and managed collaboration services comprising audio and web conferencing; fiber-to-the-tower services to wireless carriers; data services, consisting of wide-area networking and dedicated data access, as well as wireless mesh networks; and enterprise-class telephone services that include traditional multi-line phone service. Further, it provides business e-mail, hosted private branch exchange, Webspace storage, and network security monitoring; and international calling and toll-free numbers. Additionally, the company offers audience-based and IP-authenticated cross-screen advertising solutions; and television and digital advertising services, as well as operates news channels under the News 12 Networks, Cheddar, and i24NEWS names. It also provides network construction and maintenance services and commercial and residential installations, disconnections, and maintenance services. The company provides communications and video services under Optimum and Suddenlink brand names. The company was incorporated in 2015 and is headquartered in Long Island City, New York. Altice USA, Inc. is a subsidiary of Next Alt. S.a.r.l.

Raymond Svider joined Altice USA as a director in June 2017. Mr. Svider is Chairman of the Compensation Committee of the Altice USA Board of Directors and is a member of its Audit Committee. Mr. Svider is the Co-Chairman and a Managing Partner of BC Partners. He joined the firm in 1992 and is currently based in New York. Over the years, Mr. Svider has participated and led investments in a number of sectors including TMT, healthcare, industrials, business services, consumer, and retail. He is currently Non-Executive Chairman of PetSmart, Chairman of the Board of Accudyne Industries, and also serves on the boards of Intelsat (NYSE “I”) and Teneo Global. Mr. Svider previously served as a Director of Office Depot, Multiplan, Unity Media, Neuf Cegetel, Polyconcept, Neopost, Nutreco, UTL, and Chantemur.

Opinion: Altice is weighed down by debt, nearly $25Billion.  It has a negative tangible book value. Although cheap on price to cash flow and PE ratios, this level of debt scares me, and apparently other investors as the company is bumping up against historic lows in price. We are going to pass on it.

 

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Name: Sharan Sharat
Position: President and Chief Executive
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16 Shares Bought: 14,700 Average Price Paid: $16.97 Cost: $249,505
Company: ON24 Inc. (ONTF)
ON24, Inc. provides a cloud-based digital experience platform that enables businesses to convert customer engagement into revenue through interactive webinars, virtual events, and multimedia content experiences worldwide. The company provides ON24 Experience products, such as ON24 Elite, a live and interactive webinar experience; ON24 Virtual Environment, alive and large scale virtual event experience; ON24 Engagement Hub, a rich multimedia content experience; and ON24 Target, a personalized and curated rich multimedia content experience, as well as solutions, including ON24 Intelligence, an analytics backbone that captures first-person data to power the insights, benchmarking, reporting, and artificial intelligence and machine learning engine; and ON24 Connect, an ecosystem of third-party application integrations. It also offers professional services, such as experience management, monitoring, premium support, and implementation, and other services. The company sells its products through direct sales. It serves technology, financial services, healthcare, industrial and manufacturing, professional services, and business-to-business information service industries. The company was formerly known as NewsDirect, Inc. and changed its name to ON24, Inc. in December 1998. The company was incorporated in 1998 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

President, Chief Executive Officer & Director, ON24, Inc. Sharat Sharan founded ON24, Inc. Currently, he is President, Chief Executive Officer & Director at this company. In the past, he occupied the position of Vice President & General Manager at Hearst New Media, Principal at AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., and Member-Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories. He received a graduate degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, an undergraduate degree from National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Opinion: The carnage in former high flyers is reminiscent of the Dot.com bust. The many broken tech stocks don’t get the publicity as a handful of FAANG stocks make all-time highs. ON24 has lost 80% of its value since February.  It’s possible that someone will buy this company as it has $399Million in the bank and just $25 Million in debt with a market capitalization of $783 Million.

The company’s revenues are not growing and I see nothing other than a sale as an avenue to profits. That’s just too big of a risk for me.

 

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Name: Long David C
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $16.25 Cost: $81,250
Company: Sprague Resources LP. (SRLP)
Sprague Resources LP engages in the purchase, storage, distribution, and sale of refined petroleum products and natural gas in the United States and Canada. The company operates through four segments: Refined Products, Natural Gas, Materials Handling, and Other Operations. The Refined Products segment purchases and sells various refined products, such as heating oil, diesel fuel, residual fuel oil, kerosene, jet fuel, gasoline, and asphalt to wholesale, retail, and commercial customers. This segment’s wholesale customers consist of approximately 1,100 home heating oil retailers, and diesel fuel and gasoline resellers; and commercial customers include federal and state agencies, municipalities, regional transit authorities, drill sites, large industrial companies, real estate management companies, hospitals, educational institutions, and asphalt paving companies. The Natural Gas segment purchases natural gas from natural gas producers and trading companies and sells and distributes natural gas to approximately 15,000 commercial and industrial customer locations across 13 states in the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic United States. The Materials Handling segment offloads, stores, and prepares for the delivery of various customer-owned products, including asphalt, crude oil, clay slurry, salt, gypsum, residual fuel oil, coal, petroleum coke, caustic soda, tallow, pulp, and heavy equipment. The Other Operations segment engages in coal marketing and distribution; and commercial trucking activities. As of December 31, 2020, the company had a combined storage capacity of 14.6 million barrels for refined products and other liquid materials, as well as 2.0 million square feet of materials handling capacity. Sprague Resources LP was founded in 1870 and is headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. As of May 28, 2021, Sprague Resources LP operates as a subsidiary of Hartree Partners, LP.

David C. Long serves as Chief Financial Officer of Sprague Resources GP LLC of the Company. Mr. Long served as Senior Vice President with Kinetico Incorporated, a subsidiary of Axel Johnson, Inc., during which he was responsible for marketing, sales, and business development activity in North America. From February 2008 through June 2013, Mr. Long served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Kinetico Incorporated where he led the finance and accounting organization. From 1998 through 2008, Mr. Long held a variety of roles with our Predecessor, most recently as Managing Director of Sales, Refined Products. Mr. Long holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and a Master’s of Finance degree from Boston College.

Opinion: Too small a buy to pay attention to unless you consider this is the third one in the last three months. Long, the CFO is a disciplined buyer, each purchase was for $16.25.

 

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Name: Senneff Steve
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $15.12 Cost: $302,400
Company: Signify Health Inc. (SGFY)
Signify Health, Inc. operates a healthcare platform that utilizes analytics, technology, and healthcare provider networks in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Home & Community Services, and Episodes of Care Services. The Home & Community Services segment offers health evaluations performed within the patient’s home or at a healthcare provider facility primarily to Medicare Advantage health plans; diagnostic screening and other ancillary services; and services to address healthcare concerns related to social determinants of health. The Episodes of Care Services segment provides services to enhance healthcare delivery through developing and managing episodic payment programs in partnership with healthcare providers primarily under the Medicare Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Advanced program with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and care management services. Its customers include health plans, governments, employers, health systems, and physician groups. The company was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas with additional offices in Austin, New York, Norwalk, and Rapid City.

Steven Senneff has served as President, Chief Financial, and Administrative Officer of Signify Health since November 2019. Previously, Steve served as the Chief Financial Officer of Remedy Partners and as the Chief Financial Officer of DigitalOcean, Inc., where he was responsible for all the accounting and finance activities at the respective companies. Steve also served as Chief Financial Officer for Cotiviti, Inc, where he was responsible for all of the company’s accounting and finance activities and was part of the leadership team that took the company public. He also served as Cotiviti’s Chief Operating Officer, focusing on growth opportunities during a post-acquisition integration period.

Opinion:  This is a bad house in a bad neighborhood. It’s difficult to say what exactly accounts for the terrible price performance. Revenues are growing, the company is profitable and they have plenty of cash. They were the subject of an investigative journalist report on November 12th that says they used aggressive sales practices.

This is the first insider buy since the IPO back in February at $24. I think it has been overpriced since the IPO and still is hard to rationalize a $3Billion market cap.

 

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Name: Garcia Ken V
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15 Shares Bought: 26,670 Average Price Paid: $14.89 Cost: $397,037
Company: TimkenSteel Corp. (TMST)
TimkenSteel Corporation manufactures and sells alloy steel, and carbon and micro-alloy steel products in the United States and internationally. The company operates in SBQ Steel Bar, Seamless Mechanical Steel Tubes, and Billets; and Value-added Precision Products and Services segments. It offers carbon, micro-alloy, and alloy steel ingots, bars, tubes, and billets, as well as supplies machining and thermal treatment services. The company’s products are used in gears; hubs; axles; crankshafts and connecting rods; oil country drill pipes; bits and collars; bearing races and rolling elements; bushings; fuel injectors; wind energy shafts; anti-friction bearings; and other applications. TimkenSteel Corporation offers custom-made precision steel components. The company provides its products and services to the automotive; oil and gas; industrial equipment; mining; construction; rail; defense; heavy truck; agriculture; power generation; and oil country tubular goods sectors. TimkenSteel Corporation was incorporated in 2013 and is headquartered in Canton, Ohio. TimkenSteel has been through many changes over the years, but what hasn’t changed is their commitment to their core values, which form the foundation on which they conduct themselves. They stand by their more than century-old tradition and value of creating the very best products. Their products and processes are keenly focused on the customer. Exceptional customer service and focus are at the root of their ongoing success. They hold themselves to the highest ethical standards and recognize that they are all responsible for the company culture and for the impact that their practices have on society as a whole.

Kenneth V. Garcia founded Lender Performance Group LLC. He is President for PureLux, Inc. Mr. Garcia is also on the board of Charlotte Country Day School, McKim & Creed, Inc., and TimkenSteel Corp. In the past, Mr. Garcia was Chairman of Halo Technologies, Inc., President & Director at Lender Performance Group LLC, and Chief Financial Officer & General Counsel at Nalco Wastewater Contract Operations, Inc. He received an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a graduate degree from The University of Texas School of Law.

Opinion: We wrote about Cleveland Cliffs, “The infrastructure bill looks like a good thing for Cleveland Cliffs. White House ceremony Nov. 15, marks the largest investment in US infrastructure since the Federal Highway Act of 1956.”  It’s all the same for Timken Steel.

 

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Name: Joh. A. Benckiser
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16 Shares Bought: 241,700 Average Price Paid: $14.65 Cost: $3,540,518

Name: Joh. A. Benckiser
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-11-11 Shares Bought: 88,000 Average Price Paid: $14.25 Cost: $1,254,106

Name: Goudet Olivier
Position: Chairman
Transaction Date: 2021-11-11 Shares Bought: 50,000 Average Price Paid: $13.86 Cost: $554,372

Name: Tattersfield Michael J
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-11 Shares Bought: 40,000 Average Price Paid: $13.86 Cost: $554,372
Company: Krispy Kreme Inc. (DNUT)
Krispy Kreme, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a branded retailer and wholesaler of doughnuts, coffee, and other complimentary beverages, and treats, and packaged sweets. The company operates through four segments: Company Stores, Domestic Franchise, International Franchise, and KK Supply Chain. It owns and franchises Krispy Kreme stores. As of August 01, 2018, the company operated approximately 1,400 retail shops in 32 countries. It also produces doughnut mixes and doughnut-making equipment. Krispy Kreme, Inc. was formerly known as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. and changed its name to Krispy Kreme, Inc. in May 2021. The company was founded in 1937 and is headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Krispy Kreme, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Pret Panera I G.P. Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation is a global retailer of premium-quality sweet treats, including its signature Original Glazed ® Doughnut. The Company has offered the highest-quality doughnuts and great-tasting coffee.. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is proud of its Fundraising program, which has helped non-profit organizations raise millions of dollars in needed funds for decades. Krispy Kreme doughnuts can be found in approximately 12,000 groceries, convenience, and mass merchant stores in the U.S. The Company has nearly 1,400 retail shops in 33 countries.

JAB Holding Company is a privately held global investment company focused on consumer goods and services. In 2012, JAB Holding Company was formed as a partner-led investment firm, with $9bn equity placed under one holding company. JAB Holding Company and JAB Consumer Fund, including co-investors, are together referred to as “JAB” and are now responsible for managing total capital over $50bn. JAB is focused on long-term value creation by investing in companies with premium brands, attractive growth, and strong cash flow and has controlling and anchor stakes in companies.

Olivier Goudet has served as a member of the Board of Directors since September 2016 and as Chairman since May 2017. Mr. Goudet is currently Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of JAB Holding Company (“JAB”), a position he has held since 2012. He is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Mars, Incorporated (“Mars”) and has served as an independent advisor to the Mars Board of Directors. Mr. Goudet began his career at Mars, serving on the finance team of its French business, and held several senior executive positions at the VALEO Group, including Group Finance Director.

Michael James Tattersfield is a businessperson who has been at the helm of 6 different companies and presently is President & Chief Executive Officer for Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc., President & Chief Executive Officer of Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp., and President & Chief Executive Officer at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. He is also on the board of Panera Holdings Corp., Insomnia Cookies Holdings LLC, and Krispy Kreme Holding UK Ltd. Mr. Tattersfield previously was President for Yum! Brands, Inc., Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President at lululemon Athletica, Inc., Vice President-Store Operations at L Brands, Inc., Chairman at Einstein Bros. Bagels, Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of Caribou Coffee Co., Inc.

Opinion: I will have to say that JAB investment is relentless.  They buy, buy, buy and keep buying. That doesn’t make Krispy Kreme any tastier but after a while, it wears down short sellers.

 

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Name: Seid Paul
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-10  Shares Bought: 14,000 Average Price Paid: $14.03 Cost: $196,465
Company: BGSF Inc. (BGSF)
BGSF Inc. provides workforce solutions and placement services in the United States. It operates through three segments: Real Estate, Professional, and Light Industrial. The Real Estate segment provides office and maintenance field talent to various apartment communities and commercial buildings. The Professional segment offers skilled IT professionals with expertise in SAP, Workday, Peoplesoft, Hyperion, Oracle, One Stream, cyber, project management, and other IT workforce solutions, as well as finance, accounting, legal, human resource, and related support personnel. Its client partners include Fortune 500 companies, and medium and small companies, as well as consulting firms that engage in systems integration projects. The Light Industrial segment offers skilled and unskilled field talent to manufacturing, distribution, logistics, and call center client partners. It has 11 branch offices and 13 on-site locations operating in 7 states. The company was formerly known as BG Staffing, Inc. and changed its name to BGSF Inc. in February 2021. BGSF Inc. was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas.

Mr. Paul A. Seid is an Independent Director of the Company effective August 19, 2014. Seid has served on the board of directors of BioVentrix, a medical device company. For the past three years, he has served as Chief Executive Officer of RST Automation, a hospital instrumentation automation developer which was established in 2004. For the past sixteen years, he was President of Strategic Data Marketing, a research and data collection company. He has also founded, bought, and sold over twenty companies in Asia, Europe, North, and South America.

Opinion: Seid is quietly accumulating some shares in this staffing company along with another director, Baum.  It’s a very thinly traded stock and it got some lift from these buys. I’d be willing to bet the buying drys up as it popped a bit and these directors don’t look like they’re chasing it.

 

Name: Reese Lou
Position: Chairman
Transaction Date: 2021-11-12 Shares Bought: 17,500 Average Price Paid: $13.82 Cost: $241,920
Company: Vaxxinity Inc. (VAXX)
Vaxxinity, Inc., a biotechnology company, focuses on developing product candidates for human use in the fields of neurology and coronaviruses in the United States. The company engages in developing UB-311 that targets toxic forms of aggregated amyloid-b in the brain to fight Alzheimer’s disease; UB-312 that targets toxic forms of aggregated a-synuclein in the brain to fight Parkinson’s disease and other synucleinopathies, such as dementia with Lewy Body and multiple system atrophy; and an anti-tau product candidate for various neurodegenerative conditions, including AD It is also developing UB-313 that targets Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide to fight migraines; and Anti-PCSK9 that targets proprotein convertase subtilisin/Kexin type 9 serine protease to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiac events, as well as UB-612/UB-612A for Covid-19 prevention. The company has a collaboration with United Biomedical, Inc. for the development of UB-612 in Taiwan. Vaxxinity, Inc. was founded in 2014 and is based in Dallas, Texas.

Lou is one of our two co-founders and is the Executive Chairman of Vaxxinity. Lou is also a member of the executive committee of United Biomedical, Inc. He is also the co-founder of an investment and advisory firm with active investments in real estate, energy, hospitality, and life sciences. Lou’s investments focus on achieving global impact in critically important areas through innovative models and approaches. Lou was formerly an investment banker at J.P. Morgan. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and attended Columbia Business School.

Opinion: This was an IPO and given enough time it’s likely to go below is $13 per share price as the deal was reduced in size to 6 million from 6.7 million shares.

 

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Name: Berger Jan
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-09-16  Shares Bought: 14,650 Average Price Paid: $13.57 Cost: $198,801
Company: Tabula Rasa HealthCare Inc. (TRHC)
Tabula Rasa HealthCare, Inc. operates as a healthcare technology company in the United States. The company operates through two segments, CareVention HealthCare and MedWise HealthCare. It offers EireneRx, a cloud-based medication decision-support, and e-prescribing platform to access patient medication-related information; and MedWise software that provides medication decision support components for clients seeking to manage their medication risk and improve medication outcomes, and patient relationships by enhancing their existing programs or systems. The company also provides RxCompanion, a cloud-based MTM software platform designed to aid in the identification and resolution of medication and other health-related problems; TruChart, a web-based electronic health record for Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) organizations; PACElogic, which delivers real-time sharable workflows comprising EHR, customer relationship management, claims adjudication, electronic data interchange, care management, coordination and planning, integration with community-based providers, and various federal and state-required reporting. In addition, the company offers DoseMeRx, a decision support software; PrescribeWellness, a patient engagement center platform; and clinical pharmacist collaboration, prescription fulfillment, and reminder packaging, and pharmacy cost management services, as well as health plan management services, including risk adjustment and third-party administrator services. As of December 31, 2020, it served approximately 130 healthcare organizations; 280 health plans, and approximately 14,000 retail pharmacies. The company provides cloud-based software applications to assist prescribers and pharmacists. Tabula Rasa HealthCare, Inc. was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Jan Berger, MD, MJ, is the Founder, President, and CEO of Health Intelligence Partners, a global healthcare consultancy that advises clients on areas of growth. She previously served as Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer, and Innovation Officer for CVS Health/Caremark and as Chief Clinical Strategist for Quantum Health. Dr. Berger has served on a number of healthcare and consumer product boards and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cambia Health Solutions, Accentcare, Inc., and GNS Healthcare. She is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University’s School of Medicine and School of Communication.

Opinion: We panned this buy last week and for now that looks like teh right call in spite of more insider buying.

 

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Name: Doheny Matthew A
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15 Shares Bought: 31,000 Average Price Paid: $13.15 Cost: $407,650
Company: Yellow Corp. (YELL)
Yellow Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of transportation services primarily in North America. It primarily offers less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments and supply chain solutions. The company provides various services to transport industrial, commercial, and retail goods; next-day ground services; customer-specific logistics solutions, including truckload, residential, and warehouse solutions. It also offers specialized services, such as guaranteed expedited, time-specific delivery, cross-border, coast-to-coast air delivery, exhibit, product return, temperature-sensitive shipment protection, and government material shipment services. In addition, the company provides consolidation and distribution, reverse logistics, and residential white glove services. As of December 31, 2020, it had a fleet of approximately 13,500 tractors comprising 10,400 owned and 3,100 leased tractors; and 41,900 trailers consisting of 29,600 owned and 12,300 leased trailers. The company was formerly known as YRC Worldwide Inc. and changed its name to Yellow Corporation in February 2021. Yellow Corporation was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.

Founder of North Country Capital LLC, Matthew A. Doheny presently is Chairman of Yellow Corp., President for North Country Capital Management LLC, and President of North Country Capital LLC. He is also on the board of ResCap Liquidating Trust and RA Holding Corp. Mr. Doheny previously held the position of Attorney at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Attorney at Kelly Drye & Warren LLP, Managing Director at Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc., Manager for Fintech Advisory, Inc. and MD & Co-Head-Special Situation Trading at HSBC Securities, Inc.

Opinion: Yellow is up 6% since the purchase. There seems to be a big demand for freight transportation and this looks as good a way as any in playing it. Thre was a nice insider buy in Norfolk Southern reported on Monday, November 22nd as well.

 

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Name: Shepler Robert G
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18  Shares Bought: 35,000 Average Price Paid: $12.60 Cost: $441,005
Company: Akoya Biosciences Inc. (AKYA)
Akoya Biosciences, Inc., a life sciences technology company, provides spatial biology solutions focused on transforming discovery and clinical research. The company offers single-cell imaging solutions that allow researchers to phenotype cells with spatial context and visualize how they organize and interact to influence disease progression and treatment response. It provides two distinct solutions, the CODEX and Phenoptics platforms, to serve the diverse needs of researchers across discovery, translational, and clinical research. The company was incorporated in 2015 and is headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Their mission is to bring context to the world of biology and human health through the power of spatial phenotyping. Akoya’s single-cell imaging solutions phenotype cells with spatial context to visualize how they organize and interact to influence disease progression and treatment response. They are committed to discovering, developing, and commercializing innovative solutions in the emerging field of spatial biology and multiplexed imaging. Their goal has always been to reveal the vast variety of cells that exist within their own bodies and understand them within their native environment. They strive to similarly ensure that they reveal and amplify the diverse voices within their own company and give them the space to be open and thrive.

Robert G. Shepler Director, Akoya Biosciences, Inc. Robert occupies the position of Managing Director at Telegraph Hill Partners Management Company, LLC. Shepler is also on the board of LDR Spine USA, Inc., RareCyte, Inc., Agena Bioscience, Inc., and Akoya Biosciences, Inc. In the past, Mr. Shepler occupied the position of Officer at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Robert G. Shepler received an undergraduate degree from Duke University and an MBA from New York University.

Opinion:

 

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Name: Bruckheimer Jerome Leon
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15  Shares Bought: 19,901 Average Price Paid: $12.56 Cost: $249,996
Company: Skillz Inc. (SKLZ)
Skillz is the leading mobile games platform that connects players in fair, fun, and meaningful competition. The Skillz platform helps developers build multi-million dollar franchises by enabling social competition in their games. Leveraging its patented technology, Skillz hosts billions of casual esports tournaments for millions of mobile players worldwide and distributes millions in prizes each month. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading venture capitalists, media companies, and professional sports leagues and franchises. Skillz has earned recognition as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, CNBC’s Disruptor 50, Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups, and the #1 fastest-growing company in America on the Inc. 5000.  Skillz is built on the foundation that fair competition should be accessible to everyone. Skillz is pioneering the future of interactive entertainment in an increasingly digital era by connecting the world’s 2.6 billion mobile gamers through a highly engaging, competitive experience on their mission to make gaming better for both players and developers.

Jerry Bruckheimer has been an independent director of Skillz since February 2021. Mr. Bruckheimer has more than 40 years of experience as a film and television producer and a deep track record of success across the entertainment spectrum. His films collectively have grossed more than $18 billion. Mr. Bruckheimer is the founder and chief executive officer of Jerry Bruckheimer, Inc., Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Inc., and Film Visions, Inc. He is also the co-founder of and an investor in the National Hockey League franchise Seattle Kraken. In 2007, Mr. Bruckheimer served on the board of directors for privately-held ZeniMax, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2020 for $7.5 billion. Mr. Bruckheimer’s long-standing experience in the entertainment industry coupled with his experience as a director of a successful interactive gaming company makes him a valued member of the Board.

Opinion:

 

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Name: Bush Tia L
Position: Chief Quality Officer
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $12.46 Cost: $62,302

Name: Saha Saurabh
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-16  Shares Bought: 23,000 Average Price Paid: $12.28 Cost: $282,472
Company: Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc. (CNTA)
Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited, a pharmaceutical company, develops and delivers life-altering and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Its products pipeline includes Lixivaptan, a vasopressin V2 receptor small molecule inhibitor that is in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease; SerpinPC, an activated protein C inhibitor, which is in Phase 2a clinical development for the treatment of hemophilia A and B; Imgatuzumab, an anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody expected to enter a Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, as well as is being considered for the treatment of other solid tumors in the context of combination treatment with immunotherapy; and ZF874, a small molecule chemical chaperone folding corrector of the Z variant of alpha-1-antitrypsin in Phase 1 clinical development for the treatment of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. The company’s preclinical product candidates comprise ZF887 for alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency; MGX292 for pulmonary arterial hypertension; CBS001 for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; CBS004 for systemic sclerosis and lupus; LB1 and LB2 for solid tumors; Oral OX2R Agonist and Intranasal OX2R Agonist for narcolepsy type 1; Dual STAT3/5 Degrader for hematological malignancies; EGFR Ex20 and EGFR-C797S inhibitors for non-small cell lung cancer; and next-generation EGFR inhibitors. The company was formerly known as United Medicines Biopharma Limited and changed its name to Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited in February 2021. Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited was incorporated in 2020 and is based in Cambridge, the United Kingdom.

Tia Bush serves as Chief Quality Officer for Centessa Pharmaceuticals. Tia is a global leader who brings nearly thirty years of biotechnology quality experience to the company. Tia’s extensive career has been spent in quality-related roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen, Inc., where she joined in 1993. Most recently, Tia was Chief Quality Officer and Senior Vice President, Global Quality/Environment, Health, Safety, and Sustainability where she was responsible for developing, maintaining, and continuously improving the quality management and EHS management systems. She led an organization of more than 1,400 quality and safety professionals.

Dr. Saurabh Saha, MD, Ph.D., is Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Centessa Pharmaceuticals. Most recently, as Senior Vice President of Research & Development at Bristol Myers Squibb Company, Saurabh led translational medicine across all therapeutic areas spanning discovery, early development through late development, and commercialization. In 2019, he led the Research & Development diligence in the acquisition of Celgene by BMS and subsequently managed key aspects of the integration across both organizations. During his tenure, Saurabh laid the foundation for the BMS Research & Development headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the USA serving as site head and establishing a research focus on discovering new cancer treatments for immunotherapy resistance.

Opinion:

 

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Name: Robotti Robert
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-09-12  Shares Bought: 40,000 Average Price Paid: $11.92 Cost: $476,616

Name: Traub Kenneth H
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15  Shares Bought: 7,382 Average Price Paid: $11.80 Cost: $87,104
Company: Tidewater Inc. (TDW)
Tidewater Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides offshore marine support and transportation services to the offshore energy industry through the operation of a fleet of marine service vessels worldwide. It provides services in support of offshore oil and natural gas exploration, field development, and production, as well as wind farm development and maintenance, including towing of and anchor handling for mobile offshore drilling units; transporting supplies and personnel necessary to sustain drilling, workover, and production activities; offshore construction, and seismic and subsea support; geotechnical survey support for wind farm construction; and various specialized services, such as pipe and cable laying. The company operates and charters deepwater vessels, including platform supply and anchor handling tug supply vessels for use in transporting supplies and equipment from shore bases to deepwater and intermediate water depth offshore drilling rigs and production platforms; towing-supply vessels for use in intermediate and shallow waters; and crew boats, utility vessels, and offshore tugs to transport personnel and supplies from shore bases to offshore drilling rigs, platforms, and other installations. It also operates offshore tugs for use in tow floating drilling rigs and barges; and assists in the docking of tankers, as well as in pipe and cable laying, and construction barges. The company serves oil and natural gas exploration, field development, and production companies; mid-sized and smaller independent exploration and production companies; government-owned or government-controlled organizations, and other related companies; drilling contractors; and other companies, such as offshore construction, wind farm development, diving, and well stimulation companies. As of December 31, 2020, it owned or chartered 172 vessels. Tidewater Inc. was incorporated in 1956 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Robert Edward Robotti serves as Independent Director of the Company. He has been the president of Robotti & Company Advisors, LLC (a registered investment advisor) and Robotti Securities, LLC, FKA Robotti & Company, LLC (a registered broker-dealer), and their predecessors, since 1983. He has been the managing member of Ravenswood Management Company, LLC (and its predecessor) since 1980, which serves as the general partner of The Ravenswood Investment Company, L.P. and Ravenswood Investments III, L.P. Mr. Robotti served as a portfolio manager of Robotti Global Fund, LLC, a global equity fund, from 2007 to March 2015. He currently serves as a director of Panhandle Oil & Gas Company, a diversified mineral company, and as a director and Chairman of the Board of Pulse Seismic Inc

Kenneth H. Traub Independent Director, Tidewater, Inc. Founder of Voxware, Inc., Kenneth H. Traub is a businessperson who has been the head of 7 different companies and is Chairman for DSP Group, Inc. He is also on the board of Tidewater, Inc. and Athersys, Inc. and Director-New Jersey Chapter at World Presidents’ Organization and Member of Delta Value Group, LLC. Mr. Traub previously was Chairman for Omnego, Inc., President & Chief Executive Officer at Ethos Management LLC, Chief Financial Officer, Director & Vice President at Voxware, Inc., Vice President of Trans-Resources, Inc., Vice President at Viavi Solutions, Inc. and President, Chief Executive Officer & Director at American Bank Note Holographics, Inc. (a subsidiary of Viavi Solutions, Inc.), General Partner of Rosemark Capital Group LLC, Vice President for Jds Uniphase Corp.

Opinion: It’s a tough business. Even soaring petroleum prices aren’t making Tidweater profitable. There are better ways to play rising oil and gas prices.

 

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Name: Miles Patrick
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-11 Shares Bought: 50,000 Average Price Paid: $11.71 Cost: $585,500

Name: Hunsaker Craig E
Position: VP
Transaction Date: 2021-11-12 Shares Bought: 15,000 Average Price Paid: $11.66 Cost: $174,900
Company: Alphatec Holdings Inc. (ATEC)
Alphatec Holdings, Inc., a medical technology company, designs, develops, and advances technologies for the surgical treatment of spinal disorders. The company offers SafeOp Neural InformatiX System, an Alpha InformatiX product platform designed to reduce the risk of intraoperative nerve injury; squadron lateral retractor designed to maximize patient outcomes; Sigma transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion pedicle-based access system that provides direct visualization of anatomical landmarks; Sigma PTP Access and Patient Positioning System; Invictus Spinal Fixation System, a thoracolumbar fixation system to treat a range of pathologies; and Invictus MIS SingleStep System designed to improve surgical efficiency without compromising accuracy. It also provides Invictus Modular Fixation Systems designed to increase adaptability with the power of screw modularity; OsseoScrew system to restore the integrity of the spinal column; Arsenal spinal fixation system, a comprehensive thoracolumbar fixation platform to fix a range of degenerative to deformity pathologies and surgical procedures; Aspida Anterior Lumbar Plating System, a fixation system for anterior lumbar interbody fusion; AMP Anti-Migration Plate; Solanas posterior cervico/thoracic fixation system and Avalon occipital plate; OCT Spinal Fixation System; trestle luxe anterior cervical plate system; and Insignia Anterior Cervical Plate System. In addition, the company offers IdentiTi Porous Ti, Transcend Lateral, and Battalion Posterior Interbody Implants; and biologics consisting of Cervical Structural Allograft Spacers, 3D ProFuse Demineralized Bone Scaffold, Neocore Osteoconductive Matrix, Alphagraft Demineralized, and Cellular Bone Matrix, and Amnioshield Amniotic Tissue Barrier. Further, it develops EOS imaging products. It sells its products through a network of independent distributors and direct sales representatives in the United States. The company was founded in 1990 and is based in Carlsbad, California.

Patrick S. Miles serves as Chairman of the Board, President, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. He served as the Executive Chairman from October 2017 to March 2018. Mr. Miles has over 20 years of experience in the orthopedic industry and most recently served, from September 2016 to September 2017, as the Vice Chairman of NuVasive, Inc. where he was responsible for enhancing that company’s strategic plans for the future of spine surgery and supporting technology development. Mr. Miles also served as a member of NuVasive, Inc.’s Board of Directors from August 2015 until his resignation in September 2017. From February 2015 to August 2016, Mr. Miles served as NuVasive Inc.’s President and Chief Operating Officer. He previously served as NuVasive Inc.’s.

Craig Hunsaker has served as Executive Vice President, People & Culture since September 2016, and as General Counsel since March 2017. In these roles, he is responsible for all aspects of employee recruitment, development, engagement, and corporate culture, and is the Company’s chief legal officer and Corporate Secretary. Craig’s professional career includes 16 years practicing law at some of the world’s largest technology-focused law firms, advising and defending companies and management with respect to their people and trade secrets decisions while holding various leadership positions. Craig left full-time legal practice in 2009, when he joined NuVasive, Inc., a publicly-traded spinal implant company, first to serve as Vice President, Legal Affairs, then as Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources until March 2014. From April 2014 until he joined Alphatec Spine, Craig owned a consulting business, assisting employers in the areas of Employment Law and Human Resources, including as Senior Advisor, Human Resources at General Atomics, a San Diego-based defense contractor.

Opinion: Alphtech’s soaring revenue growth rate came to a screeching halt in the last quarter.  The Company has never been profitable and investors are rightfully losing patience. It will take more than the CEO buying the stock to juice the price.

 

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Name: Aramburuzabala Maria Asunicion
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15 Shares Bought: 925,000 Average Price Paid: $10.89 Cost: $10,076,672
Company: COTY Inc. (COTY)
Coty Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture, marketing, distribution, and sale of beauty products worldwide. The company provides prestige fragrances, skincare, and color cosmetics products through prestige retailers, including perfumeries, department stores, e-retailers, direct-to-consumer websites, and duty-free shops under the Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein, Cavalli, Chloe, Davidoff, Escada, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Jil Sander, Joop!, Kylie Jenner, Lacoste, Lancaster, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Nikos, philosophy, Kim Kardashian West, and Tiffany & Co. brands. It also offers mass color cosmetics, fragrance, skincare, and body care products primarily through hypermarkets, supermarkets, drug stores, pharmacies, mid-tier department stores, traditional food and drug retailers, and e-commerce retailers under the Adidas, Beckham, Biocolor, Bozzano, Bourjois, Bruno Banani, CoverGirl, Jovan, Max Factor, Mexx, Monange, Nautica, Paixao, Rimmel, Risque, Sally Hansen, Stetson, and 007 James Bond brands. Coty Inc. also sells its products through third-party distributors to approximately 150 countries and territories. The company was founded in 1904 and is based in New York, New York. Coty Inc. is a subsidiary of Cottage Holdco B.V.

Mariasun Aramburuzabala Larregui joined the Board in December 2020. Ms. Aramburuzabala is President of the Board & CEO of Tresalia Capital, a leading global investor with investments and transactional experience throughout Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the U.S. Tresalia has particular expertise in consumer goods companies, with an investment portfolio including Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), Tory Burch, Kio Networks, Casper, Multiplan, Kraft-Heinz, Aliat, and Medistik, as well as early-stage investments like Kavak, Kovi, Editas, Minu, Miroculus, and GAIA. Ms. Aramburuzabala also serves as a Board Director for several global corporations and institutions, including Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) and Grupo Modelo.

Opinion: JAB Investment portfolio holdings. Long-term value destruction much like Krispy Kreme. I don’t know how this family got so rich but it wasn’t from COTY or Krispy Kreme.  They hit the ball out of the park with Keurig but these holdings don’t excite me.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: O’Brien Andrew
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-12 Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $8.20 Cost: $205,000
Company: Trean Insurance Group Inc. (TIG)
Trean Insurance Group, Inc. underwrites specialty casualty insurance products in the United States. The company underwrites business, predominantly workers’ compensation, accident and health, and medical professional liability products. It also offers a variety of services, including issuing carriers, claims administration, and reinsurance brokerage services. The company offers its products through programs and managing general agents. Trean Insurance Group, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is based in Wayzata, Minnesota. Trean Insurance Group, Inc. (“TIG”) is a full-service insurance management and reinsurance consulting company. With their seasoned team of insurance and reinsurance accounting, claims, data, regulatory, and underwriting professionals, they have the expertise to consult on all aspects of your insurance operations. They pride themselves on being relationship-driven and a true business partner—one that listens to the needs of their clients. As a one-stop-shop for insurance and reinsurance services, Trean Insurance Group can help us achieve our goals and develop a profitable business. In 1996, Trean’s management team left a large, publicly-traded reinsurance broker with the goal of delivering innovative solutions to the insurance market. Over time, Trean has developed into a uniquely integrated group of companies who work toward the shared purpose of providing insurance management services, consulting, and reinsurance placement services to its valued partners.

Chief Executive Officer & Director, Trean Insurance Group, Inc. Mr. Andrew O’Brien is a Chief Executive Officer & Director at Trean Insurance Group, Inc., a President & Chief Executive Officer at Trean Corp., and a President & Chief Executive Officer at Trean Reinsurance Services LLC. He is on the Board of Directors at Trean Insurance Group, Inc. Mr. O’Brien was previously employed as a Director & Executive Vice President by E.W. Blanch Holdings, Inc. He also served on the board at First Dakota Indemnity Co., Security & Fire Electronics, Inc., and Sheltered Aid to Families in Emergencies Inc. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and a graduate degree from The University of Minnesota Law School.

Opinion: It was a very bad year for casualty insurers. The one bright spot is there is quite a bit of insider buying in the category. Like everything else, insurance rates are probably going up too.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Jiang Tianyi
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 33,000 Average Price Paid: $7.78 Cost: $256,714
Company: AvePoint Inc. (AVPT)
AvePoint, Inc. provides Microsoft 365 data management solutions worldwide. It offers a suite of SaaS solutions to migrate, manage, and protect data. The company provides cloud solutions for Office 365, Salesforce, and Dynamics 365; and hybrid/on-prem products. It also offers advisory and implementation, maintenance and support, Microsoft Teams surge and advisory, migration as a service, and quick-start services. The company was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey. Their name “AvePoint” was coined by Kai. It was during one of his daily commutes into New York City when he saw Times Square through a new lens. He realized that this place is where the avenues merge, bringing together people, ideas, and energy. Thus “AvePoint” came from the dream that his company could also be this point, at which all avenues come together, to enable collaboration with confidence. AvePoint’s logo symbolizes a rising sun just above a mountain, but also a person with a bowing head. This duality captures their mission: to dream big and make a positive difference, but always with humility. They value quick, informed decision-making to meet and exceed customer expectations. They subscribe to a growth mindset, which contributes to their entrepreneurial and learning spirit.

Dr. Tianyi Jiang (TJ) co-founded AvePoint in 2001 and has served as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer since 2005. A recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in New Jersey in 2010, TJ received both B.S. and Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Philosophy and Ph.D. in Data Mining from the Department of Information Systems, Operations Management, and Statistics, Stern School of Business, New York University.

Opinion:  CEO Tiayani is one smart dude but I don’t see what problem AvePoint is solving. It just looks like another broken SPAC dream.

 

 

Name: Gerhard Mark
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 33,277 Average Price Paid: $7.61 Cost: $253,152

Name: Hodgson Riaan
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 30,000 Average Price Paid: $7.54 Cost: $226,298
Company: Marketwise Inc. (MKTW)
MarketWise, Inc. operates a multi-brand platform of subscription businesses that provides financial research, software, education, and tools for investors. It provides a portfolio of independent investment research, as well as various software and analytical tools on a subscription basis. The company offers its research across various platforms, including desktop and laptop, as well as mobile devices, such as tablets and cell phones. As of June 30, 2021, it served approximately 1 million paid subscribers and approximately 12 million free subscribers. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded with a mission to level the playing field for self-directed investors, today MarketWise is a leading multi-brand subscription services platform providing premium financial research, software, education, and tools for investors. With more than 20 years of operating history, MarketWise is currently composed of 12 primary customer-facing brands, offering more than 160 products, and serving a community of more than 11 million free and paid subscribers. MarketWise’s products are a trusted source for high-value financial research, education, actionable investment ideas, and investment software. MarketWise is a 100% digital, direct-to-customer company offering its research across a variety of platforms including mobile, desktops, and tablets. MarketWise has a proven, agile, and scalable platform and our vision are to become the leading financial solutions platform for self-directed investors.

Mr. Mark M. Gerhard is an Independent Director at MarketWise LLC, an Independent Director at MarketWise, Inc., a Chief Executive Officer & Director at Ascendant Digital Acquisition Corp. II, a Chief Executive Officer & Director at Ascendant Digital Acquisition Corp. III, a CEO, Director & Chief Technology Officer at PlayFusion Ltd., a Chief Executive & Technology Officer at Disruptional Ltd., an Independent Director at Ascendant Mobility Acquisition Corp. He is on the Board of Directors at MarketWise LLC, MarketWise, Inc., Ascendant Digital Acquisition Corp. II, Ascendant Digital Acquisition Corp. III, Beauty Labs International Ltd., PlayFusion Ltd., Independent Game Developers Association Ltd., Cambridge Venture Partners Ltd., and Ascendant Mobility Acquisition Corp. I. Gerhard was previously employed as a Chief Executive Officer & Director by Ascendant Digital Acquisition Corp., a CEO, Director & Chief Technology Officer by Jagex Ltd., and a Principal Security Officer by GTECH Corp.

Presently, Riaan Hodgson is Director at PlayFusion Ltd., Chief Operating Officer & Director at Ascendant Digital Acquisition Corp. II, Chief Operating Officer & Director at Ascendant Digital Acquisition Corp. III and Chief Operating & Financial Officer, Director at Beauty Labs International Ltd. Riaan Hodgson is also on the board of Cambridge Venture Partners Ltd., MarketWise LLC, Ascendant Mobility Acquisition Corp. I and MarketWise, Inc.Mr. Hodgson previously occupied the position of Chief Operating & Financial Officer, Director at Jagex Ltd., COO, Director & Chief Accounting Officer at Ascendant Digital Acquisition Corp., Director-Finance Operations at Business Objects Holding SAS, and Chief Financial Officer for Enghouse Interactive (UK) Ltd.

Opinion: MarketWise is a collection of market newsletters, most of which you have never heard of. It too is the bastard child of another crummy SPAC deal.  The problem with these SPACS is that the average investor gets suckered into buying into it and has no idea how much stock is waiting in the wings to unload.

 

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Name: Berman Robert Alan
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 75,000 Average Price Paid: $7.13 Cost: $534,750

Name: Goord Glenn S
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $7.03 Cost: $70,300
Company: Rekor Systems Inc. (REKR)
Rekor Systems, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides vehicle identification and management systems based on artificial intelligence in the United States, Canada, and internationally. It offers OpenALPR software, a vehicle recognition software. The company provides vehicle recognition and data management products and services; traffic safety systems, including hardware that identifies red light and school safety zone traffic violations, as well as software, which captures and offers forensic quality images and data, and supports citation management services; and enterprise parking enforcement solutions. Its customers include federal, state, and local government entities; retailers; private security companies; parking management companies; fast-food restaurant chains; and logistics companies. Rekor Systems, Inc. was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. Rekor provides real-time, customer and public safety intelligence to enable AI-driven decisions. Rekor bridges commercial and government sectors with actionable, real-time vehicle recognition data to enable informed decisions faster and with greater outcomes. Rekor is transforming industries like Public Safety, Customer Experience, and Smart Cities in approximately 80 countries across the globe with smarter, quicker, cost-competitive vehicle recognition solutions for security, revenue discovery and recovery, public safety, electronic toll collection, brand loyalty, parking operations, logistics, and traffic management. The Company uses the power of artificial intelligence to analyze video streams and transform them into AI-driven decisions by its clients. Its machine learning software can turn most IP cameras into highly accurate and affordable vehicle recognition devices used to help protect lives, increase brand loyalty, and enhance operations and logistics, without the need to install expensive new infrastructure. Rekor makes what was once considered impossible, possible.

Robert A. Berman has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since March 2016. Since January 2000, Mr. Berman has served as the General Partner of Avon Road Partners, L.P., a limited partnership invested in real estate, broadcast media, and the gaming industries. From 2006 through March 2015, Mr. Berman held the office of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Cinium Financial Services Corporation, a specialty finance company, and prior to which Mr. Berman was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Empire Resorts, Inc (NASDAQ: NYNY) a company he co-founded. Mr. Berman has served as an officer and director for both public and private companies in the hospitality, gaming, telecommunications, and finance sectors. He has substantial capital market experience having raised over $1 billion of both public and private debt and equity.


Glenn Goord has served on the Board of Directors since March 2016. From 1996 until his retirement in 2006, Mr. Goord served as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services (“NYSDCS”),  where he oversaw the state prison system. Mr. Goord received the Carl Robison Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Middle Atlantic States Correctional Association, in 1997. In 1998 he received the Charles Evans Hughes Award for public service from the Albany-based Capital Area Chapter for the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). In 2002, ASPA awarded Mr. Goord its highest honor, the Governor Alfred E. Smith Award, for his direction of the NYSDCA’s efforts to aid New York City following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack. 

Opinion: This sounds like a sexy business. Machine learning, computer vision, AI- that’s all the rage but this little company has no growth and diminutive revenues. That’s why the stock is dead. Add to that this quote from a Seeking Alpha article, “Rekor Systems (REKR) is one of the more confusing companies that you will come across. Formerly known as Novum Solutions, the shell was formed in Feb 2017 and from there it has been a chaotic array of mergers, acquisitions, failed acquisitions, divestitures, and business discontinuations. The below graphic will hopefully serve as a helpful roadmap as we navigate through the company’s operations:”

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Vaughan Peggy
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-15  Shares Bought: 44,977 Average Price Paid: $6.69 Cost: $300,896
Company: Moneygram International Inc. (MGI)
MoneyGram International, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides cross-border peer-to-peer payments and money transfer services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Global Funds Transfer and Financial Paper Products. The Global Funds Transfer segment offers money transfer services and bill payment services through third-party agents, including retail chains, independent retailers, post offices, banks, and other financial institutions; and digital solutions, such as moneygram.com, mobile solutions, digital partners, wallets, and account deposit services. The Financial Paper Products segment provides money orders to consumers through its agents and financial institutions under the MoneyGram brand and on a private label or co-branded basis with various agents and financial institutions, and official check outsourcing services for banks and credit unions. MoneyGram International, Inc. was incorporated in 2003 and is based in Dallas, Texas. MoneyGram is leading the evolution of digital P2P payments. With a purpose-driven strategy to mobilize the movement of money, a strong culture of fintech innovation, and leading customer-centric capabilities, MoneyGram has grown to serve nearly 150 million people across the globe over the last five years. The Company leverages its modern, mobile, and API-driven platform and collaborates with the world’s leading brands to serve consumers through MoneyGram Online (MGO), its direct-to-consumer digital business, its global retail network, and its emerging embedded finance business for enterprise customers, MoneyGram as a Service.

Peggy Vaughan has been a director of MoneyGram International, Inc. since February 2014. Ms. Vaughan currently advises portfolio companies in technology, life sciences, consumer goods, financial services, and media industries, and also serves on the advisory committee for TWV Capital Management, LLC. Ms. Vaughan served as a Director of APQC Consulting Group, Inc. and as a Member of the Portfolio Advisory Board at Texas Women Ventures. Vaughan brings to the MGI board more than 25 years of consulting experience leading large-scale, operational improvement, restructuring, technology, and change management engagements. Vaughan began her consulting career at PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) and became a partner in 1988. While at PwC, Vaughan led many high-profile initiatives including the US Services Industry, the Americas SAP Practice, and the Global Supply Chain Practice. Additionally, Vaughan served as an elected member of the PwC US Board of Partners and PwC Global Board of Directors.

Opinion: Several insiders are buying. The news looks bleak. It’s always darkest before dawn. I don’t know what the catalyst is but insiders seem to think its a good time to buy.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Stassen Zachary William
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19  Shares Bought: 17,857 Average Price Paid: $5.60 Cost: $99,999

Name: Drake Scott William
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19  Shares Bought: 89,285 Average Price Paid: $5.60 Cost: $499,996
Company: ViewRay Inc. (VRAY)
ViewRay was founded on the belief that enhanced real-time visualization combined with on-line adapting and accurate dose recording will significantly improve the safety and efficacy of radiation therapy, leading to better outcomes for patients. MRI-guided radiation therapy was conceived by company founder James F. Dempsey, Ph.D., while he was a member of the radiation oncology faculty at the University of Florida in 2004. And ViewRay holds the exclusive worldwide license for its combination of MRI and radiation therapy technologies. ViewRay, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets radiation therapy systems. The company offers MRIdian, a magnetic resonance image-guided radiation therapy system to image and treat cancer patients. Its MRIdian integrates MRI technology, radiation delivery, and proprietary software to see the soft tissues, shape the dose to accommodate changes in anatomy, and strike the target using real-time targeting throughout the treatment. The company serves university research and teaching hospitals, community hospitals, private practices, government institutions, and freestanding cancer centers. ViewRay, Inc. markets its MRIdian through a direct sales force and distribution network. It has operations in the United States, France, Germany, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and internationally. The company was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Oakwood, Ohio.

Zach has more than 20 years of experience in the medical device and healthcare industries. He was most recently the CFO and COO at Bolder Surgical, an innovative, privately-held med-tech company. Prior to Bolder Surgical, Zach held various business development roles at Spectranetics, including Vice President of Finance, prior to its acquisition by Royal Philips. Earlier, he co-founded a device company that was acquired by Cardinal Health. Zach also has experience as a healthcare investment banker on Piper Jaffray’s team.

Scott W. Drake is currently Chief Executive Officer, President, and Board Member of ViewRay (Nasdaq: VRAY). Mr. Drake has over 30 years of experience in the private and public sectors of the medical device field. From 2011 to August 2017, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of The Spectranetics Corporation (formerly Nasdaq: SPNC), a medical device company; during his six-year tenure at Spectranetics, shareholder value increased from approximately $170 million to $2.2 billion. From 2009 to July 2011, he was a Senior Vice President of DaVita Corporation (NYSE: DVA), a provider of kidney care and dialysis. For 17 years,

Opinion:

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Nathan Gilbert E
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-12 Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $5.57 Cost: $139,350
Company: Alto Ingredients Inc. (ALTO)
Alto Ingredients, Inc. produces and markets specialty alcohols and essential ingredients in the United States. It operates in two segments, Production, and Marketing. The company offers specialty alcohols used in mouthwash, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and cleaners; alcoholic beverages, flavor extracts, and vinegar, as well as corn germ used for corn oils and carbon dioxide. It also provides essential ingredients, such as dried yeast, corn gluten meal, corn gluten feed, distillers grains, and liquid feed used in commercial animal feed and pet food; and fuel-grade ethanol used as a transportation fuel and distillers corn oil used as a biodiesel feedstock, as well as fuel-grade ethanol produced by third parties. In addition, the company offers transportation, storage, and delivery services through third-party service providers. It sells ethanol to integrated oil companies and gasoline marketers; essential ingredient feed products to dairies and feedlots; and corn oil to poultry and biodiesel customers. The company operates seven ethanol production facilities, including three plants in the Midwestern states of Illinois; and four plants located in the Western states of California, Oregon, and Idaho. The company was formerly known as Pacific Ethanol, Inc. and changed its name to Alto Ingredients, Inc. in January 2021. Alto Ingredients, Inc. was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Sacramento, California.

Gilbert Nathan has served as an Advisor to the Board since November 2015 and as a Director since November 2019. Mr. Nathan is the Managing Member of Jackson Square Advisors LLC and is the Chief Executive Officer of Keycon Power Holdings, LLC. He serves on the Board of Directors of Ready Capital Corporation and as a liquidating trust board member of Hercules Offshore Liquidating Trust. Mr. Nathan was formerly a Senior Analyst with Candlewood Investment Group, an investment firm with significant debt and equity investments in the ethanol industry. Prior to joining Candlewood, Mr. Nathan served as Principal at Restoration Capital Management for 10 years.

Opinion:

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Field David J
Position: CEO Chairman
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17  Shares Bought: 116,224 Average Price Paid: $2.88 Cost: $334,802
Company: Audacy Inc. (AUD)
Audacy, Inc., a multi-platform audio content and entertainment company, engages in the radio broadcasting business in the United States. The company owns and operates radio stations in various formats, such as news, sports, talk, classic rock, urban, adult contemporary, alternative, country, and others, as well as offers integrated marketing solutions across its broadcast, digital, podcast, and event platforms. It also creates live and original events, including concerts and live performances, and crafted food and beverage events; and operates Radio.com, a digital audio platform that includes 750 stations. As of March 02, 2021, it had a portfolio of approximately 230 radio stations and their websites. The company was formerly known as Entercom Communications Corp. and changed its name to Audacy, Inc. in April 2021. Audacy, Inc. was incorporated in 1968 and is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

David Field is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Entercom Communications Corp. (NYSE: ETM), a leading American media and entertainment company that reaches and engages over 170 million people each month across the nation’s top 50 markets through its premier collection of highly-rated radio stations, digital platforms, and live events.  Philadelphia-based Entercom is one of the country’s two largest radio broadcasters and the nation’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio. The field has served as Entercom’s CEO since 2002 and its President since 1998. 

Opinion:

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Krimbill H Michael
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-09-12  Shares Bought: 100,000 Average Price Paid: $2.22 Cost: $222,229
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 our 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 Conflic.

Opinion: We made good money trading this bottom feeder MLP.  Krimbill has been buying his stock as $14.53. I think you can back up the truck here and make multiples of your money.  The death of the internal combustion engine has been greatly overexaggerated. The obsolescence of crude oil has been grossly exaggerated . Despite the fight against climate change, the world economy is as addicted to oil as it was before the pandemic. Global consumption is now back to about 100 million barrels a day, a level last seen in 2019.  Despite the release of strategic reserves on Tuesday, Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, has climbed back above $80 a barrel and Saudi oil production will hit 10 million barrels a day next month, well above pre-Covid levels.

 

Name: He Wei-Wu
Position: CEO Chairman
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17 Shares Bought: 400,000 Average Price Paid: $0.99 Cost: $394,000
Company: CASI Pharmaceuticals Inc.  (CASI)
CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes therapeutics and pharmaceutical products in China, the United States, and internationally. The company offers EVOMELA, an intravenous formulation of melphalan for use as a conditioning treatment prior to stem cell transplantation, and as a palliative treatment for patients with multiple myeloma, which has completed Phase I studies in China. It also provides CNCT19, an autologous CD19 CAR-T investigative product for the treatment of patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) and B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL); BI-1206 that is in Phase I/II trial in combination with anti-PD1 therapy Keytruda for solid tumors, and in a Phase 1/2a trial in combination with MabThera (rituximab) in patients with relapsed/refractory NHL; and CB-5339, which is in Phase I clinical trial for acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, as well as solid tumors and lymphomas. In addition, the company offers CID-103 for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma; Thiotepa, which has multiple indications including use as a conditioning treatment for various allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants; Octreotide long-acting injectable formulations for the treatment of acromegaly and for the control of symptoms associated with various neuroendocrine tumors; ZEVALIN to treat patients with NHL; and MARQIBO for the treatment of adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative ALL. It has licensing agreements with Juventas Cell Therapy Ltd; BioInvent International AB; Black Belt Therapeutics Limited; and Cleave Therapeutics, Inc. The company also has distribution agreements with China Resources Guokang Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd; Pharmathen Global BV; and Riemser Pharma GmbH. The company was formerly known as EntreMed, Inc. and changed its name to CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in June 2014. CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was incorporated in 1991 and is based in Rockville, Maryland.

Dr. He has been Chairman of the Company since February 2012 and Executive Chairman since February 2018 and Chief Executive Officer since 2019. Prior to joining CASI, Dr. He was the CEO of OriGene Technologies, Inc. and remains Chairman of the Board of Directors. He also is the founder and General Partner of Emerging Technology Partners, LLC (ETP), a life sciences-focused venture fund established in 2000. Dr. He has been involved in founding or funding over 60 biotech companies throughout his career, some of which went on to be 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 prior to that, was a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Mayo Clinic. Dr. He is an author of more than 30 research publications and inventor of over 32 issued patents.

Opinion: I doubt if this purchase will change the direction. Casi has been sliding for the last two years in spite of good news and persistent insider buying. It will take drug approval and some serious revenues to change the temperature. If that happens it could be a 10x bagger. $LGVN went up 300% today.  Casi could do the same and more.  We featured this stock two years ago at Casi Pharmaceuticals, Insider Buy of the Week.

Casi was over $3 per share and Dr. He has not stopped buying.

 

 

 


 

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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 a lot of 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 is 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 I. 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