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.

Insiders were coming back in a pretty big way and then the virus redux hit on Friday.  Does it change anything?  It’s too early to read anything into it as insider buying will have as much as a 48 hour lag to real-world events as the SEC requires insiders to post their transactions within 2 days of making a purchase or sale.  We’ll know more by the end. of next week if the newest Covid variant has a dampening effect on their animal spirits.  Right now I’m at 45 pages of insider buying activity and it will take a few more days to fill in all the blanks. Here is plenty though to keep you busy.

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Name: Smith Wayne Thomas
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-22  Shares Bought: 1,679  Average Price Paid: $297.76 Cost: $499,939
Company: Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD)
Air Products touch the lives of consumers around the globe in positive ways every day. Focused on serving energy, environment, and emerging markets, They provide essential industrial gases, related equipment, and applications expertise to customers in dozens of industries, including refining, chemical, metals, electronics, manufacturing, and food and beverage. They are also the global leader in the supply of liquefied natural gas process technology and equipment. Air Products develops, engineers, builds, owns, and operates some of the world’s largest industrial gas projects, including gasification projects that sustainably convert abundant natural resources into syngas for the production of high-value power, fuels, and chemicals. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built a reputation for its innovative culture, operational excellence, and commitment to safety and the environment. Their passionate, talented, and committed employees from diverse backgrounds are driven by Air Products’ higher purpose to create innovative solutions that benefit the environment, enhance sustainability and address the challenges facing customers, communities, and the world.

Wayne T. Smith is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BASF Corporation. Mr. Smith served in this role from May 2015 through May 2021 and served as a member of the Board of Management Directors of the parent company, BASF SE, from 2012 through May 2021. Prior to his tenure at BASF, which began in 2004, Mr. Smith was vice president and general manager of Specialty Construction Chemicals at W.R. Grace and Company, where he led the strategy development, growth, and profitability of that unit worldwide. Before joining W.R. Grace, Mr. Smith served in positions of increasing responsibility with The BOC Group, culminating as vice president and general manager of the company’s Packaged Products business. He is a former director of Inter Pipeline

Opinion: This is Director Smith’s second purchase of Air Products this month. Between the two purchases, he has bought $1 million worth of shares at $297. APD is transforming itself into a clean energy play.  On Oct 14th Air Products and the Louisiana governor announced a $4.5 billion clean energy complex using blue hydrogen.  That came on the back of a $12Biillon dollar joint venture with Saudia Arabia ARAMCO. This is also a cyclical recovery play and a great net zero story.

I like what CEO Ghasemi said on the Q4 earnings call. ` “The committed, dedicated and motivated team at Air Products proved once again that they can deliver results now while developing and executing megaprojects for profitable growth in the future. We delivered excellent results for the year, despite significant external challenges. We announced significant projects across our core gasification, carbon capture and hydrogen growth platforms, including the net-zero hydrogen facility in Alberta, Canada and the massive blue hydrogen project in Louisiana, while also closing on the $12 billion Jazan acquisition. I remain very optimistic about the future of Air Products.” The last transaction by Ghasemi was his purchase in July 2019 of 20,000 shares at $227.16.

JP Morgan analyst has the Company fully valued with a Dec-22 price target of $300/sh (vs. $295 prior) reflects a 15.5x multiple of 2023E EBITDA.

 

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Name: Choe Michael W
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-22 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $258.98 Cost: $2,589,800
Company: Wayfair Inc. (W)
Wayfair Inc. engages in the e-commerce business in the United States and internationally. It provides approximately twenty-two million products for the home sector under various brands. The company offers online selections of furniture, d̩cor, housewares, and home improvement products through its sites, including Wayfair, Joss & Main, AllModern, Birch Lane, and Perigold brands. Wayfair Inc. was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Wayfair is the destination for all things home: helping everyone, anywhere create their feeling of home. From expert customer service to the development of tools that make the shopping process easier, to carry one of the widest and deepest selections of items for every space, style, and budget, Wayfair gives everyone the power to create spaces that are just right for them. They provide true partnership to help you define your vision. They empower you to create spaces that reflect who you are, what you need, and what you value so that you and the ones you love can feel right at home. At Wayfair, Their People Principles define how they operate as individuals, teams, and a company. They are commitments that they practice and aspire to every day Рthe North Star that they anchor on Рthe true distillation of who they are.

Michael Choe has served as a member of our board of directors since May 2020. Mr. Choe has served as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Charlesbank Capital Partners, an investment management firm managing over $8 billion of capital, since July 2017. Mr. Choe joined Harvard Private Capital Group, the predecessor to Charlesbank, in 1997, and was appointed as Managing Director in 2006 and President in 2014. Prior to that Mr. Choe was with McKinsey & Company, where he focused on corporate strategy work. Mr. Choe serves on the boards of several private companies.

Opinion: Wayfair has managed to stake out a category on the Internet. No small feat in a world where Amazon has laid waste to all comers.  Just when the Company was starting to generate significant free cash flow, it reported on November 4th a 19% drop in Q3 revenue to $3.1B  saying that consumers are shifting some spending dollars back to travel and entertainment. EPS topped estimates even as the online retailer battled through some supply chain issues. Wayfair has been a sure thing for shorts for the better part of a year.  Although $2.5M is a sizeable buy, I don’t see how this changes the downward direction of the stock.

  • Key Wayfair metrics: Active customers +1.5% Y/Y to 29.2M, LTM revenue per active customer +7.3% to $484, orders delivered -30.1% to 11.0M, average order value $283 vs. $243 a year ago, 57.7% of orders via mobile devices.
  • CEO update: “We are, as ever, focused on the long-term, balancing strong growth and profitability over years not quarters, and solidifying our position as the definitive destination for the home.”
  • Shares of Wayfair (W) are up 0.41% premarket to $270.00 after the mixed Q3 earnings report.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Dorman David W
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-23 Shares Bought: 1,547 Average Price Paid: $186.47 Cost: $288,469
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.

David W. Dorman has served as a director of PayPal since June 2015. He previously served as a board member of eBay from June 2014 to July 2015. Mr. Dorman has been the Non-Executive Board Chair of CVS Health Corporation, a pharmacy healthcare provider, since May 2011, and is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Corporation, a telecommunications company (formerly known as SBC Communications Inc.). He is also Founding Partner of Centerview Capital Technology Fund, a private investment firm, since July 2013 and Chairman of the Board of InfoWorks, a portfolio company of Centerview as of January 2019. He was formerly Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Motorola Solutions, Inc. (formerly Motorola, Inc.), a leading provider of business and mission-critical communication products and services for enterprise and government customers. He served as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Motorola, Inc.

Opinion: Another insider purchasing Paypal. I doubt if this will be enough to arrest the slide. It’s been nearly impossible to justify PayPal’s valuation for years. As the stock slides, it’ gets close to something approximating its intrinsic value. Ironically momentum stocks become less desirable to momentum investors as the price goes down. Where does Ebay need to be attract value investors?

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Wilson Kevin S
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-23  Shares Bought: 1,000 Average Price Paid: $173.00 Cost: $173,000
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: The company was the victim of a short-seller report around October 25th. It’s given back a whole year’s worth of price appreciation in the last two months. The best answer to short seller is always going to be putting your money where your mouth is. This is the second purchase made by the CEO in a week and it’s time to take notice of this yet I’m having a hard time figuring out the motive. A year ago Kevin was selling stock for almost half the price.

Finviz Chart

Name: Moskovitz Dustin A
Position: CEO Chairman 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-11-23 Shares Bought: 371,928 Average Price Paid: $100.00 Cost: $37,192,800
Company: Asana Inc. (ASAN)
Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their work. Forrester, Inc. reports that “Asana simplifies team-based work management. Asana helps teams orchestrate their work, from small projects to strategic initiatives. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Asana has more than 100,000 paying customers and millions of free organizations across 190 countries. Global customers such as Amazon, Japan Airlines, Sky, and Under Armour rely on Asana to manage everything from company objectives to digital transformation to product launches and marketing campaigns. Asana, Inc. offers a work management platform. The Company’s platform enables teams to orchestrate work, from daily tasks to cross-functional strategic initiatives. With its solution, Asana enables individuals to manage and prioritize across each of the projects. Its solution enables individuals to collaborate with teammates and have visibility into each team member’s responsibilities and progress. The Asana solution aids the team leads to manage work across a portfolio of projects or processes. The Company enables executives to communicate company-wide goals, monitor status, and oversee work across projects to gain real-time insights into which initiatives are on track or at risk. Asana is powered by its multidimensional data model called the work graph. The work graph captures and associates work units, the people responsible for executing those units of work, the processes in which work gets done, information about that work, and the relationships across and within the data.

Dustin Moskovitz is the co-founder and CEO of Asana. As Asana’s CEO, Dustin is dedicated to creating a product that helps the world’s teams collaborate effortlessly, in addition to leading the company’s award-winning culture. Prior to founding Asana, Dustin co-founded Facebook and served as the company’s first Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering.

Opinion:  We’ve blogged and tweeted on this one. It’s been performing really well, probably as good as any name in the cloud space.  What we don’t understand is why Muskovitz is buying millions of shares of his company.  Why did he go public in the first place?  Also, he’s the only one buying.  The other officers are selling.  Asana is proving you only need one multi-billionaire that wants to buy all the stock. I’d be a buyer, yes it’s crazy but it’s been proven right.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Fisher Daniel William
Position: President
Transaction Date: 2021-11-24  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $93.88 Cost: $938,841
Company: BALL Corp. (BLL)
Ball Corporation is an American company headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado. It is best known for its early production of glass jars, lids, and related products used for home canning. Since its founding in Buffalo, New York, in 1880, when it was known as the Wooden Jacket Can Company, the Ball company has expanded and diversified into other business ventures, including aerospace technology. It eventually became the world’s largest manufacturer of recyclable metal beverage and food containers. The Ball brothers renamed their business the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company, incorporated in 1886. Its headquarters, as well as its glass and metal manufacturing operations, were relocated to Muncie, Indiana, by 1889. The business was renamed the Ball Brothers Company in 1922 and the Ball Corporation in 1969. It became a publicly-traded stock company on the New York Stock Exchange in 1973. The ball left the home canning business in 1993 by spinning off a former subsidiary (Alltrista) into a free-standing company, which renamed itself Jarden Corporation. As part of the spin-off, Jarden is licensed to use the Ball registered trademark on its line of home-canning products. Today, the Ball brand mason jars and home canning supplies belong to Newell Brands.

Daniel William Fisher serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer – Global Beverage Packaging of the Company. Fisher joined Ball in 2010 as vice president, finance, North American metal beverage operations. Since 2014, he has served as president, Beverage Packaging North, and Central America, where he has led growth initiatives, increased profitability, and EVA dollar generation.

Opinion: TWO BIG buys should warrant more discussion. Check back on this. I promise you’ll have more, I will probably keep half of it.  Sold half on Friday it was up and that was probably a mistake. James Bond might be getting called back to Gulfstream for one more save the world hurrah. We were thinking it was the satellite business that might be providing the favorable stock price action but after Friday’s knee-jerk reaction, it seems like the stay-at-home canning movement is moving the stock.  Is it all really just almost keyed up and ready to go?  virus- stay at home- eat canned foods, work it off on your peleton.  It’s a shame you can’t get a simple answer from the insiders other than “yea I thought it was a good value”.

Bottom line Ball has been around for a long time and will likely continue to be around. It’s a classic industrial buy and hold forever and hope you bought it right as it will never be a barnburner.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Eltoukhy Helmy
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19 Shares Bought: 104,500 Average Price Paid: $96.15 Cost: $10,048,130

Name: Talasaz AmirAli
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19 Shares Bought: 104,500 Average Price Paid: $96.12 Cost: $10,044,222
Company: Guardant Health Inc. (GH)
Guardant Health, Inc., a precision oncology company, provides blood tests, data sets, and analytics in the United States and internationally. The company offers Guardant360, Guardant360 CDx, and GuardantOMNI liquid biopsy-based tests for advanced-stage cancer; and GuardantINFORM, an in-silico research platform that comprises a clinical-genomic liquid biopsy dataset of advanced cancer patients. It is also developing tests from its LUNAR program for neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment selection in early-stage cancer patients; LUNAR-2 test for the early detection of cancer in asymptomatic individuals eligible for cancer screening; and GuardantConnect, an integrated software-based solution for clinical and biopharmaceutical customers seeking to connect patients tested with the Guardant360 assay with actionable alterations with potentially relevant clinical trials. In addition, the company offers Guardant Reveal Test for residual disease and recurrence monitoring; Guardant360 tissue genotyping product; and Guardant-19 for use in the detection of the novel coronavirus. Further, it offers development services, including companion diagnostic development and regulatory approval, clinical trial referral, and liquid biopsy testing development and support services to pharmaceutical companies and medical institutions. Guardant Health, Inc. has collaborations with Daiichi Sankyo to develop Guardant360 CDx as a companion diagnostic for Enhertu in advanced metastatic non-small cell lung cancer; Kinnate Biopharma Inc. focuses on characterizing the prevalence of patients with advanced solid tumors bearing BRAF Class I, II, and III alterations; and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to establish an in-house liquid biopsy testing service. Guardant Health, Inc. was incorporated in 2011 and is headquartered in Redwood City, California.

Helmy Eltoukhy, Ph.D. is the co-founder and chairman of the board of directors for Guardant Health and has served as the company’s Co-Chief Executive Officer since August 2021. Prior to founding Guardant, Dr. Eltoukhy held various positions at Illumina, Inc., or Illumina, from August 2008 to December 2012, including Senior Director of Advanced Technology Research, where he developed novel chemistries, hardware, and informatics for genetic analysis systems. In June 2007, he co-founded Avantome Inc. to commercialize semiconductor sequencing to help speed up the democratization of high throughput DNA sequencing and served as Chief Executive Officer until its acquisition by Illumina in August 2008. He joined the Stanford Genome Technology Center, or SGTC, as a postdoctoral fellow in 2006 to work on low-cost DNA sequencing technologies. 

AmirAli is an entrepreneur in the rare genomics and clinical diagnostics fields. Prior to co-founding Guardant, he was Senior Director of Diagnostics Research at Illumina and led the efforts for emerging clinical applications of next-generation genomic analysis. During that time, he developed different genomic technologies suitable for clinical applications. Before Illumina, he founded Auriphex Biosciences, which focused on purification and genetic analysis of circulating tumor cells for cancer management. The technology was acquired by Illumina in 2009. During his academic years, he led the Technology Development group at Stanford Genome Technology Center.

Opinion: What does Guardant do but destroy shareholder value?  Is Guardant the new Theranos?  A simple blood draw can detect cancer. That’s the conclusion an observer would get from their website.  And it might be as simple as that except for the fact that Theranos has shown us that simple blood prick is not the panacea for the world but rather a great place for false advertising and stock bravado.

Right now GRD is showing us that the more revenues they achieve, the more shareholder monies go down the drain. This is not a sustainable business model.  That’s a pity as its founders are two shining stars in computational biology and evangelists for big data and Medicine.  At the end of the day, it just goes to show you that investors  are pretty old fashioned fans of the Jerry McGuire movie line, “SHOW ME THE MONEY.”

Finviz Chart

Name: Bisignano Frank
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-23 Shares Bought: 10,401 Average Price Paid: $96.02 Cost: $998,679

Name: Oleary Denis
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-23 Shares Bought: 10,400 Average Price Paid: $95.99 Cost: $998,296
Company: Fiserv Inc. (FISV)
Fiserv, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides payment and financial services technology worldwide. The company operates through Acceptance, Fintech, and Payments segments. The Acceptance segment provides point-of-sale merchant acquiring and digital commerce services; mobile payment services; security and fraud protection products; Carat, an omnichannel commerce solution; and Clover POS, a cloud-based point-of-sale solution. This segment distributes through various channels, including direct sales teams, strategic partnerships with agent sales forces, independent software vendors, financial institutions, and other strategic partners. The Fintech segment offers customer deposit and loan accounts, as well as manages an institution’s general ledger and central information files. This segment also provides digital banking, financial and risk management, cash management, professional services and consulting, item processing and source capture, and other products and services. The Payments segment offers card transactions, such as debit, credit, and prepaid card processing and services; security and fraud protection products; card production; print services; and various network services, as well as non-card digital payment software and services, including bill payment, account-to-account transfers, person-to-person payments, and electronic billing products. It serves businesses, banks, credit unions, other financial institutions, merchants, and corporate clients. The company was incorporated in 1984 and is headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Frank Bisignano is President, Chief Executive Officer, and member of the board of directors of Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a global leader in financial services and payments technology solutions for financial institutions, businesses, and consumers. The company serves clients in more than 100 countries, and in 2021 was recognized among FORTUNE® World’s Most Admired Companies for an eighth consecutive year.  Bisignano joined Fiserv in 2019 and led the company’s day-to-day operations as President and Chief Operating Officer before assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer in July 2020. Prior to joining Fiserv, Bisignano served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Data.

Denis J. O’Leary is the Chairman of Fiserv, Inc. He has served as a Director since 2008 and was Lead Director from 2019 until he is appointed Chairman in 2021. Mr. O’Leary is a private investor. From 2009 to 2015, he served as Co-Managing Partner of Encore Financial Partners, Inc., a company focused on acquiring and managing banking organizations in the United States. From 2006 to 2009, he was a senior advisor to The Boston Consulting Group concerning the enterprise technology, financial services, and consumer payments industries. Through 2003, he spent 25 years at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and its predecessors in various capacities, including Director of Finance, Chief Information Officer, Head of Retail Banking, Managing Executive of Lab Morgan (strategic equity investment in fin-tech), and Executive Vice President.

Opinion: I have to do a triple take here looking at the charts of the two above and one below. What do Garidant, Fiserv, and Nevro all have in common?  Their charts sure do look similar. In the case of Fiserv, we’ve blogged about this before. Fiserv is the snake that swallowed the rat and it’s stuck in its throat.  Fiserv bought private equity debt bomb First Data and they’ve been struggling ever since. This is fairly typical and when private equity brings a company public again, give it some time- it’s a reliable short.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Weatherman Elizabeth H
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021.-11-22 Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $85.33  Cost: $1,706,548
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.

Elizabeth H. (Bess) Weatherman is the Independent Director of the company. The weatherman has served as a special limited partner of Warburg Pincus LLC, a leading global private equity firm, since 2016. Weatherman joined Warburg Pincus in 1988, became a partner in 1996, and served as a member of the Executive Management Group from 2001 to January 2016. She led the firm’s Healthcare Group from 2008 to January 2015. Ms. Weatherman currently serves as a director of Wright Medical Group N.V., Vapotherm, Inc., and Silk Road Medical, Inc. She received a B.A. in English from Mount Holyoke College and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Opinion: Battleground stock- I wonder if I can a sample for my back and if I don’t like it,  can I get my money back. I know I can with a Medtronic stimulator. This stem-set looks like a bomb. If your product was any good, revenues would be through the roof as bad backs are one of man’s most common afflictions.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Schutter Edward J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-17 Shares Bought: 32,560 Average Price Paid: $71.76 Cost: $2,336,611
Company: Establishment Labs Holdings Inc. (ESTA)
Establishment Labs is a global medical technology company focused on women’s health, initially in the breast aesthetics and reconstruction market, by designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing an innovative portfolio of silicone gel-filled breast implants, branded as Motiva Implants®, the centerpiece of the MotivaImagine® platform. Motiva Implants® are produced at our two manufacturing sites that are compliant with ISO13485:2016, FDA 21 CFR 820 under the MDSAP program, and currently available in more than 80 countries through exclusive distributors or our direct salesforce. In March 2018, Establishment Labs received approval for an investigational device exemption (IDE) from the FDA and initiated the Motiva Implant® clinical trial in the United States. In addition to Motiva Implants®, Establishment Labs’ product and technologies portfolio include the Divina® 3D Simulation System and other products and services. With more than 30 years of advanced breast implant manufacturing experience, building quality breast implants have always been a natural outcome for Establishment Labs’ founders and top executives. As a result, Motiva Implants® has established a level of product innovation that always results in safety. And while they respect their past, they’re more focused on the present and the future, one that’s innovative, safe, and progressive. They believe that these goals can be achieved by incorporating the current needs and preferences of plastic surgeons and patients into their product design.

Ed Schutter has over thirty years of pharmaceutical industry experience and is currently CEO of Arbor Pharmaceuticals. Ed was previously President of Sciele (Shionogi) Pharmaceuticals prior to joining Arbor. Prior to Sciele, Ed served as VP of Global Business Development at Solvay Pharmaceuticals based in Basel, Switzerland. He also held several senior management roles at the U.S. subsidiary of Solvay during his twenty years with the organization. He began his pharmaceutical career with Reid-Provident Labs, a small entrepreneurial pharmaceutical company based in Atlanta, GA. 

Opinion:

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Wilder C John
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19  Shares Bought: 20,797 Average Price Paid: $66.08 Cost: $1,374,266
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: This stock works. We’re not getting rich off it but we are making good money with the dividends, 5-6% capital appreciation, and selling out of the money covered calls and occasionally puts. Regulated electric utilities are going to get hot.  When you might ask? I don’t know. What’s the difference between being wrong and early? That I DO KNOW- NONE.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Bassoul Selim A
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18  Shares Bought: 80,000 Average Price Paid: $41.95 Cost: $3,355,832

Name: Ruchim Arik W
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19  Shares Bought: 150,000 Average Price Paid: $40.60 Cost: $6,090,220
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.

Selim Bassoul, Director and Non-Executive Chairman. Selim Bassoul was the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors at The Middleby Corporation from January 2001 until his retirement in February 2019. Mr. Bassoul started working at The Middleby Corporation in January 1996. He has served as a Director and the Non-Executive Chairman of the board of directors of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation since February 2020. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the American University of Beirut. Mr. Bassoul is a valuable member of our Board because of his extensive experience in the food service industry.

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: I‘ve always thought that Six Flags was going to get its debt upgraded and lock in investment-grade status and consequently start up their dividend and launch a large buyback. These large buys just reinforce that superstition.  The latest Covid scare is pushing SIX into the deep-value territory.

 

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Name: Cummins Wes
Position: Directord
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $37.04 Cost: $370,400
Company: Vishay Precision Group Inc. (VPG)
Vishay Precision Group, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets sensors, sensor-based measurement systems, specialty resistors, and strain gages in the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, rest of Europe, Asia, and Canada. It operates through three segments: Foil Technology Products, Force Sensors, and Weighing and Control Systems. The company’s product portfolio includes foil resistors, foil strain gages, transducers, load cells, modules, data acquisition systems, and weighing and control systems, as well as sensors that convert mechanical inputs into an electronic signal for display, processing, interpretation, or control by its instrumentation and system products. Its products are primarily used in the military and aerospace, medical, agricultural, steel, and construction sectors for application in waste management, bulk hauling, logging, scales manufacturing, engineering systems, pharmaceutical, oil, chemical, paper, and food industries. The company offers its products under the Vishay Foil Resistors, Alpha Electronics, Powertron, Pacific Instruments, Micro-Measurements, Celtron, Revere, Sensortronics, Tedea-Huntleigh, BLH Nobel, KELK, GleebleVPG Onboard Weighing brands. Vishay Precision Group, Inc. sells its products through field application engineers. Vishay Precision Group, Inc. was incorporated in 2009 and is headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Wesley C. Cummins is an Independent Director at Sequans Communications SA, an Independent Director at Vishay Precision Group, Inc., a Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at Applied Science Products, Inc., and a Founder & Chief Investment Officer at 272 Capital LP. He is on the Board of Directors at Sequans Communications SA and Vishay Precision Group, Inc. Mr. Cummins was previously employed as an Independent Director by TeleNav, Inc., a Research Analyst by Nokomis Capital LLC, an Analyst by Harvey Partners LLC, a Research Director & Head-Capital Markets by B. Riley & Co. LLC, a President by Riley Investment Management LLC, an Analyst by Needham & Co., Inc., and an Analyst by Kennedy Capital Management, Inc.

Opinion: Buy a little but don’t pay more than Wes

 

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Name: Murray Steven Joseph
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $36.66 Cost: $366,600
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.

Steven J. Murray serves as Lead Independent Director of the Company. Mr. Murray has served as a member of our board of directors since June 2013. Mr. Murray is a Partner at Revolution Growth, a venture capital firm, where he has worked since January 2016. From April 1996 to January 2016, Mr. Murray worked at SoftBank Capital, a venture capital firm, where he most recently served as a Partner. Prior to this, Mr. Murray worked for Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he specialized in serving high-growth, technology-based businesses. Mr. Murray also serves on the boards of directors for a number of private companies. Mr. Murray holds a B.S. in accounting from Boston College. Mr. Murray was selected to serve as a member of our board of directors due to his extensive experience with technology companies.

Opinion: This is the one with the big potential and all the unhappy shareholders. I don’t think anyone knows the extent of the gaming market and particularly combining it with gambling. I think Draft Kings will be a brand leader in the gambling of gaming, already in traditional sports but may transform across multiple industries. This is one to take a shot with and be patient. If it hits, it will hit a big TAM. That’s probably why Cathie Woods of ARKK is a fan.  The SuperBowl could be a big catalyst as it is the largest single-day gambling event in the world.

 

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Name: Contis David J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19  Shares Bought: 8,500 Average Price Paid: $30.53 Cost: $259,535
Company: CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (CBL)
Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN, CBL Properties owns and manages a national portfolio of market-dominant properties located in dynamic and growing communities. CBL Properties (previously CBL & Associates, Inc., then CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.) is an American real estate investment trust that invests in shopping centers, primarily in the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. CBL’s portfolio comprises 106 properties totaling 65.7 million square feet across 25 states, including 64 high-quality enclosed, outlet, and open-air retail centers and 8 properties managed for third parties. CBL seeks to continuously strengthen its company and portfolio through active management, aggressive leasing, and profitable reinvestment in its properties. Since going public in 1993, CBL has generated tremendous growth as a company, measured both by portfolio size, and increases in cash flows and dividends. The company looks forward to continuing success through expansions, renovations, and aggressive leasing of its properties. CBL also seeks opportunities to increase income through sponsorship, branding, and other initiatives.

Mr. Contis is the founder and president of AGORA Advisors, Inc. He has served on the board of various companies, including his current service on the board of Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc., where he serves on the audit committee. Mr. Contis brings extensive real estate experience having served in executive leadership positions at Simon Property Group, Inc., and The Macerich Company. Mr. Contis is a graduate of DePaul University and DePaul University College of Law.

Opinion: Commercial real estate has been coming back but retail may have peaked and office may be changed permanently with more hybrid models and decreased demand and secular decreased demand.  If office comes back expect this to ignite expect this recent IPO to ignite, otherwise I think its fully priced.

 

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Name: Payne John W R
Position: COO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-24 Shares Bought: 8,830 Average Price Paid: $28.40 Cost: $250,772

Name: Gallagher Samantha Sacks
Position: VP
Transaction Date: 2021-11-24 Shares Bought: 4,400 Average Price Paid: $28.30 Cost: $124,520
Company: Vici Properties Inc. (VICI)
Vici Properties is a real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in casino properties, based in New York City. It was formed in 2017 as a spin-off from Caesars Entertainment Corporation as part of its subsidiaries’ bankruptcy plan. It owns 29 casinos, hotels, and racetracks, and 4 golf courses throughout the United States. VICI Properties Inc. is an experiential real estate investment trust that owns one of the largest portfolios of market-leading gaming, hospitality, and entertainment destinations, including the world-renowned Caesars Palace. VICI Properties’ national, geographically diverse portfolio consists of 28 gaming facilities comprising 47 million square feet and features approximately 17,800 hotel rooms and more than 200 restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and sportsbooks. Its properties are leased to industry-leading gaming and hospitality operators, including Caesars Entertainment, Inc., Century Casinos, Inc., Hard Rock International Inc., JACK Entertainment LLC, and Penn National Gaming, Inc. VICI Properties also has an investment in the Chelsea Piers, New York facility and owns four championship golf courses and 34 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip. VICI Properties aims to deliver sustained income and value growth through its strategy of creating the highest quality and most productive experiential asset portfolio in American real estate investment management.

Mr. Payne is the President and Chief Operating Officer. He has over 25 years of experience in the gaming and hospitality business and a track record of achieving superior results. Prior to this, Mr. Payne served as the Chief Executive Officer of Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., a position he held from 2014. He served as Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s President of Central Markets and Partnership Development from 2013 to 2014, its President of Enterprise Shared Services from 2012 to 2013, its President of Central Division from 2007 to 2012, and Atlantic City Regional President in 2006. In 2005, Mr. Payne also served as the Gulf Coast Regional President.

Ms. Gallagher is Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of VICI Properties Inc. (NYSE: VICI), an experiential real estate investment trust. Ms. Gallagher serves as VICI’s chief legal officer and leads the company’s corporate legal function. In her role, Ms. Gallagher has leadership responsibility for the structuring of all corporate-level transactions (including mergers and acquisitions), all corporate governance matters, regulatory compliance (including SEC, NYSE, and gaming regulatory matters), overseeing property-level acquisitions and dispositions, supervising litigation matters, as well as managing outside counsel.

Opinion: If Omicon, the new variant of Covid, does sustained damage to the gaming sector pin action, this is a good comeback play. Otherwise I’d leave it alone.

 

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Name: Thornberry Richard G
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-23 Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $21.65 Cost: $432,988
Company: Radian Group Inc. (RDN)
Radian Group Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the mortgage and real estate services business in the United States. Its Mortgage segment offers credit-related insurance coverage primarily through private mortgage insurance on residential first-lien mortgage loans, as well as other credit risk management and contract underwriting solutions. This segment primarily serves mortgage originators, such as mortgage bankers, commercial banks, savings institutions, credit unions, and community banks. The company’s Real Estate segment offers title services, including a suite of insurance and non-insurance title, tax and title data, centralized recording, document retrieval and default curative title services, and deed and property reports, as well as closing and settlement services comprising electronic execution, traditional signing, and centralized and local closing and settlement services; real estate valuation products and services; and asset management services, as well as other real estate products and services, to assist agents in facilitating residential real estate transactions, such as software as a service solution, real estate data products, and real estate transaction services. This segment provides its mortgage and real estate services to mortgage lenders, mortgage and real estate investors, government-sponsored enterprises, and real estate brokers and agents. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rick Thornberry is the chief executive officer of Radian Group Inc. (NYSE: RDN). Headquartered in Philadelphia, Radian provides private mortgage insurance and products and services to the mortgage and real estate industries. Radian is one of the largest private mortgage insurers of U.S. residential mortgages, and its real estate services segment is a leader in each of its industries. Rick has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, as a leader of some of the most innovative mortgage industry businesses. Prior to joining Radian, he co-founded NexSpring Group, LLC in 2006, a firm to partner with and advise leading private equity firms related to potential financial services M&A transactions.

Opinion: Radian has been dead money for years, at least since Thornberry’s appointment to CEO in March of 2017. The stock was around $18 four and half years ago on his appointment to CEO. Based on Friday’s close of $20.77, the stock has gained about 15% during a period the S&P has averaged nearly 15% per year.  How do you keep a job like this much less justify an $8million dollar salary to yourself?

 

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Name: Scarlett Gregg
Position: COO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-22 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $19.22 Cost: $192,180
Company: Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (BLMN)
Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., through its subsidiaries, owns and operates casual, upscale casual, and fine dining restaurants in the United States and internationally. The company operates through two segments, U.S. and International. Its restaurant portfolio has four concepts. They conceived an Australian theme with a “No Rules, Just Right” mindset to create a fun, friendly dining experience that would differentiate themselves from other dining concepts. In March 1988, they opened the first Outback Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida. Since then, Their family of brands has expanded to include Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Aussie Grill by Outback. Together, these unique, Founder-inspired restaurants make up Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. Today, Bloomin’ Brands is one of the world’s largest casual dining companies with approximately 77,000 Team Members and more than 1,450 restaurants worldwide. Continuing their Founders’ commitment to excellence, Bloomin’ Brands was named to the Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity for the third year in a row and was also honored as one of America’s Best Large Employers in 2021. Bloomin’ Brands is one of the world’s largest casual dining companies with approximately 77,000 Team Members and more than 1,450 restaurants throughout 47 states, Guam, and 20 countries.

Gregg Scarlett was named Chief Operating Officer of Casual Dining Restaurants in February 2020. He is responsible for leading the domestic operations and development of more than 1,000 restaurants nationwide, including Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Gregg brings more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Since he joined the company in 1996, he has held several leadership positions across the portfolio, including President of Outback Steakhouse, President of Bonefish Grill, Senior Vice President of Operations, and Vice President of Operations.

Opinion: People have been eating out in droves but the latest iteration of Covid could put a damper on this. If not Covid food inflation might take a bite out of earnings and demand.

 

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Name: Bickley Ian
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19  Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $17.99 Cost: $359,800
Company: Brilliant Earth Group Inc. (BRLT)
Brilliant Earth is a company that sells jewelry featuring diamonds and other gemstones that are asserted to be ethically sourced. The company was established in August 2005 by Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. According to Businessweek, the company has been influential in creating a market for ethically-sourced jewelry. Some provenance claims were disputed as per a 2017 The Next Web article. Brilliant Earth was founded by Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg as a response to the lack of transparency and irresponsible mining practices that confront the jewelry industry today. Brilliant Earth began with the belief that exceptional quality, ethically sourced jewelry can be an effective tool for social change. From their award-winning jewelry designs and responsibly sourced materials to their personalized showroom experience, customers never need to compromise between quality and conscience. Brilliant Earth makes jewelry we can feel good about wearing with thoughtful craftsmanship in every phase of production. With their Beyond Conflict Free™ diamonds and commitment to social and environmental responsibility, They hope to inspire a more transparent, compassionate, and sustainable jewelry industry. Brilliant Earth is one of the fastest-growing eCommerce jewelers in the world, and a leader in ethical origin fine jewelry. They are on the lookout for bright, motivated candidates who are eager to make an impact from day one and grow with a team of passionate and kind people!.

Ian Bickley, Director at Brilliant Earth Group (NASDAQ: BRLT), made a large buy and sell of company shares on September 27, according to a new SEC filing. Global fashion & luxury executive and CEO/general manager – including leading a $2 billion P&L – with an exceptional track record of building Omni-channel (DTC & wholesale) businesses, revitalizing brands, leading and developing global teams, and executing multi-brand portfolio M&A and business integration. Expert in global business development expansion and business turnaround in both North America and international markets.

Opinion: Brilliant Earth is carving out a niche with ethically-minded millennials and GnZbuyers.  They take ethical to another level, I kid you not. Ethical diamonds are not exactly ethical unless Brilliant Earth has analyzed the process closely.

 

 

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Name: Blundin David B
Position: Director 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19  Shares Bought: 43,000 Average Price Paid: $14.77 Cost: $634,970
Company: EverQuote Inc. (EVER)
EverQuote, Inc. operates an online marketplace for insurance shopping in the United States. The company’s online marketplace offers consumers shopping for auto, home and renters, life, health, and commercial insurance. It serves carriers and agents, as well as indirect distributors. The company was formerly known as AdHarmonics, Inc. It changed its name to EverQuote, Inc. . Its mission is to empower insurance shoppers to protect better life’s most important assets—their family, property, and future. Their vision is to use data and technology to simplify insurance, more affordable and personalized, ultimately reducing cost and risk in November 2014. EverQuote, Inc. was incorporated in 2008 and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. EverQuote was built as a bootstrap, largely funding their growth under their power. Today, this approach continues to enable them to retain control over their destiny. They value speed to unit profitability with every new thing they do and expect initiatives to drive increasing value as they scale. They are obsessed with execution. Effort matters, but consistent execution wins. They are proactive, solution-oriented owners focused on generating high value for their customers. We test, learn and adapt with urgency to execute against their ambitious goals.

David B. Blundin is an entrepreneur and businessperson who founded six companies, which include: EverQuote, Inc., Percipio Asset Management LLC, and Vestmark, Inc., and who has been the head of 6 different companies. He holds the position of Chairman for Vestmark, Inc. (which he founded in 2001), Chairman of EverQuote, Inc. (which he founded in 2008), and Managing Partner at Link Equity Partners LLC (which he founded in 2006). He is also General Partner of Vestigo Ventures LLC. In his past career, David B. Blundin occupied the position of Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Cogo Labs, Inc. (he founded the company in 2005), President & Chief Executive Officer at Cirrus Recognition Systems, Inc., Chairman at Autotegrity, Inc., Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Datasage, Inc.

Opinion:

 

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Name: Rosenblatt David S
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19  Shares Bought: 22,500 Average Price Paid: $13.37 Cost: $300,922
Company: 1stdibs.com Inc. (DIBS)
Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN, CBL Properties owns and manages a national portfolio of market-dominant properties located in dynamic and growing communities. CBL Properties (previously CBL & Associates, Inc., then CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.) is an American real estate investment trust that invests in shopping centers, primarily in the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. CBL’s portfolio comprises 106 properties totaling 65.7 million square feet across 25 states, including 64 high-quality enclosed, outlet, and open-air retail centers and 8 properties managed for third parties. CBL seeks to continuously strengthen its company and portfolio through active management, aggressive leasing, and profitable reinvestment in its properties. Since going public in 1993, CBL has generated tremendous growth as a company, measured both by portfolio size, and increases in cash flows and dividends. The company looks forward to continuing success through expansions, renovations, and aggressive leasing of its properties. CBL also seeks opportunities to increase income through sponsorship, branding, and other initiatives.

David S. Rosenblatt has served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors since November 2011. Mr. Rosenblatt previously served as President, Global Display Advertising, of Google, Inc. (“Google”), a multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products, from October 2008 through May 2009. Mr. Rosenblatt joined Google in March 2008 in connection with Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick, a provider of digital marketing technology and services. Mr. Rosenblatt joined DoubleClick in 1997 as part of its initial management team and held several executive positions during his tenure, including Chief Executive Officer of DoubleClick from July 2005 through March 2008, and President of DoubleClick from 2000 through July 2005. 

Opinion: Insanely gorgeous high-end auction website selling outrageous design for the 1/10 of 1%ers. This was is potentially making a double bottom on the charts but in reading the latest earrings transcript I see no mention of cash burn or when they will turn EPS positive. The best I see is “We expect to generate operating leverage and free cash flow and expand adjusted EBITDA margins over time as we grow GMV and revenue.”

No analyst asked them when they will turn eps profitable either. Frankly, I don’t see this as an investment. Buy something on the site but save your money on investments.

 

 

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Name: Joh. A. Benckiser
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19 Shares Bought: 223,988 Average Price Paid: $13.83 Cost: $3,097,866
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.

Opinion: I would be tired of this if it weren’t so amazingly tiresome.

 

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Name: Ramachandran Niro Ph.D
Position: Chief Business Officer
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19  Shares Bought: 25,073  Average Price Paid: $13.13 Cost: $329,231
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.

Niro joined Akoya in August 2020 to serve as the Chief Business Officer responsible for developing a robust roadmap and commercialization strategy for Akoya’s platforms. Niro has nearly two decades of experience in developing and commercializing products in the life science market. He has commercialized over 30 products across genomics and proteomics research markets. More recently, he served as the vice president of the spatial biology business unit at Nanostring Technologies (2014 – 2020). Prior to this, Niro led product development for the protein business unit at Life Technologies (2008-2014; acquired by Thermo Fisher). Niro received his Hon. BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto, and Ph.D. from the University of Windsor. He completed his postdoctoral work at the Harvard Institute of Proteomics, Harvard University.

Opinion: Akoya Bisocscines is a life science instrument manufacturer pioneering a software technique they describe as spatial biology. They plan on hosting an inaugural spatial day on December 15th. They had 35% quarter-over-quarter revenue growth but is this enough? They may be integral to understanding how cancer and other diseases interact on the cellular level.  Unfortunately short of a buy-out from a larger instrument company, like Thermo Fischer Scientific, I don’t see a path to shareholder value.  And maybe that’s the game plan- several insiders were buying shares at half the IPO price of its April IPO at $20 per share.

 

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Name: Dattilo Thomas A
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18  Shares Bought: 40,000 Average Price Paid: $10.26 Cost: $410,400
Company: Canoo Inc. (GOEV)
Canoo Inc., a mobility technology company, designs, engineers, develops and manufactures electric vehicles for commercial and consumer markets in the United States. The company offers B2B delivery vehicles, multi-purpose delivery vehicles, and lifestyle vehicles using skateboard architecture technology. It intends to serve small businesses, independent contractors, service technicians, retailers, corporations, logistics companies, fleet managers, and others. Canoo’s mission is to bring EVs to everyone. The company has developed breakthrough electric vehicles that are reinventing the automotive landscape with bold innovations in design, pioneering technologies, and a unique business model that spans all owners in the full lifecycle of the vehicle. Distinguished by its experienced team from leading technology and automotive companies – Canoo has designed a modular electric platform purpose-built to deliver maximum vehicle interior space that is customizable across all owners in the vehicle lifecycle to support a wide range of vehicle applications for consumers and businesses. Canoo has offices in California and Texas, Michigan, and Minnesota.

Mr. Thomas A. Dattilo is an Independent Director at Canoo, Inc. and an Independent Director at L3Harris Technologies, Inc. He is on the Board of Directors at Canoo, Inc., Poltrona Frau SpA, L3Harris Technologies, Inc., and RxDino LLC. Mr. Dattilo was previously employed as a Chairman by The Portfolio Group, Inc., an Independent Director by Solera Holdings, Inc., an Independent Director by Harris Corp., a Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., a President-Sealing Products Group by Dana Corp., a Chairman by MAPI, Inc., and a Chairman by The Rubber Manufacturers Association. He also served on the board at Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. IV, Haworth, Inc., and Alberto-Culver LLC /Old. He received his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and a graduate degree from the University of Toledo (Ohio).

Opinion: Canoo’s scalable electric vehicle platform, or “skateboard,” is largely what drew Apple’s interest, the people said. The platform is different from ones developed by other startups and larger automakers because it integrates more of the car’s electronics, allowing for greater flexibility in cabin design. It also features steer-by-wire technology, which also increases design flexibility and is not yet widely adopted in the industry.

Canoo was more interested in taking on investment from Apple, two of the people said. Ultimately, the talks fell apart. Canoo has since become a publicly-traded company after merging with a blank check fund that was listed on the NASDAQ in late 2020.

 

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Name: Roberts David N
Position: CEO Chairman
Transaction Date: 2021-11-22  Shares Bought: 200,000 Average Price Paid: $10.25 Cost: $2,050,000
Company: AG Mortgage Investment Trust Inc. (MITT)
AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust, invests in a portfolio of residential mortgage-backed securities and credit investments in the United States. Its investment portfolio includes residential investments, including re/non-performing loans, non-qualifying mortgages loans, and land-related financing; and commercial investments, such as commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), interest-only securities, and CMBS interest-only and principal-only securities, as well as commercial real estate loans secured by commercial real property, including mortgages and mezzanine loans for construction or redevelopment of a property. The company qualifies as a real estate investment trust for federal income tax purposes. It generally would not be subject to federal corporate income taxes if it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its stockholders. The company was incorporated in 2011 and is based in New York, New York.

Mr. Roberts joined Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P. (“Angelo Gordon”) in 1993 and is a Managing Director and a member of the firm’s Advisory Board and Executive Committee. At Angelo Gordon, Mr. Roberts has been responsible for helping start and grow a number of the firm’s businesses, including opportunistic real estate, private equity, net lease real estate, residential mortgage-backed securities, and energy lending. Within private equity, Mr. Roberts focused in particular on investments in the specialty finance area, including helping create and serving for over 15 years as Lead Director of publicly-traded PRA Group, Inc. 

Opinion:

 

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Name: Powell Walter George
Position: CAO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19  Shares Bought: 9,000 Average Price Paid: $10.13 Cost: $91,170
Company: Atlas Technical Consultants Inc. (ATCX)
Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc. provides professional testing, inspection, engineering, environmental, and program management and consulting services in the United States. The company provides a range of technical services, helping its clients test, inspect, plan, design, certify, and manage various projects across various end markets. It offers testing, inspection, and certification services, such as construction materials testing; non-destructive testing and evaluations, materials testing and inspection, laboratory, and geophysics; construction quality assurance; owner verification and inspection; forensic and structural investigations; and materials laboratory services. The company also provides environmental services, including environmental permitting, compliance assistance, and auditing and compliance management system implementation; air quality; water, hazardous material permitting, and registration; underground storage tank management; leak detection and repair program management; water resource management; industrial hygiene and building science; and disaster response and recovery. In addition, it offers engineering and design comprising the civil site, transportation, and geotechnical engineering; hydrogeology; water/wastewater; solid waste/landfill; land acquisition; subsurface utility engineering; surveying and mapping; and geographic information system asset inventory and assessments. Further, the company offers program management/construction management/quality management services consisting of programmatic planning and phasing; contract document preparation; bid evaluation and award analysis; alternative/value engineering; project estimating and scheduling; project cost/schedule control; contract administration; project management; community relations/affairs; asset management; construction management services; quality management and assurance; and construction engineering and inspection. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

Founder of Consolidated Oil & Gas Corp., Walter George Powell presently is Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President at this company and Chief Accounting Officer of Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc. Mr. Powell is also a Member of The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Project Manager at Midwest Oil & Gas LLC. In his past career, he occupied the position of President, CEO, CFO, Treasurer & Director at Barclay Road, Inc., and Audit Partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP.

Opinion: this one doesn’t require reading the tea leaves. The infrastructure bill that was just signed by President Biden should be a windfall for Atlas. Stifel analyst Noelle Dilts continues to view Atlas Technical Consultants “as the most underappreciated infrastructure stimulus play in our coverage universe.” 

The Company said that it saw “meaningful demand recovery” in key markets and its backlog ended the quarter at a record $757M without including $175M of new awards that are pending, Dilts tells investors in a research note. Demand for the company’s services is benefiting from strong secular industry tailwinds, which should support multi-year organic growth, says the analyst. Dilts views President Biden’s infrastructure bill as a “major positive” for Atlas, saying funding from the bill is anticipated to begin impacting the company in late 2022 or early 2023

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Lorentzen Kyle David
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18  Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $9.80 Cost: $244,905

Name: Watts Claudius E
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18  Shares Bought: 35,000 Average Price Paid: $9.78 Cost: $342,240
Company: CommScope Holding Company Inc. (COMM)
CommScope Inc. is an American global network infrastructure provider company based in Hickory, North Carolina. CommScope employs over 30,000 employees worldwide. With customers in over 130 countries. The company joined the NASDAQ stock exchange on October 25, 2013. CommScope designs and manufactures a variety of network infrastructure products. It has four business segments: Home Networks, Broadband Networks, Venue, Campus Networks, and Outdoor Wireless Networks. At CommScope, they push the boundaries of communications technology to create the world’s most advanced networks. They design, manufacture, install and support the hardware infrastructure and software intelligence that enables their digital society to interact and thrive. Working with customers, they advance broadband, enterprise, and wireless networks to power progress and create lasting connections. Across the globe, their people and solutions are redefining connectivity, solving today’s challenges, and driving the innovation that will meet the needs of what’s next.  CommScope has initially been a product line of Superior Continental Cable, which was founded in 1953 in Hickory, North Carolina. In 1961, Superior created a division called Comm/Scope, which developed CATV systems and sold a coaxial cable named CommScope. In 1967, Superior was acquired by Continental Telephone Company, with CommScope becoming a division of Continental. In 1975, Frank Drendel headed a team charged with selling the product line. Drendel and Jearld Leonhardt founded CommScope in August 1976 after raising $5.1 million to purchase the CommScope product line. Two years later, CommScope and Valtech merged under the Valtech name. In 1979 Valtech donated fiber optics lines and equipment to link the U.S. House of Representatives to the C-SPAN studios, enabling live broadcasting of U.S. Congressional proceedings for the first time.

Kyle David Lorentzen is Chief Transformation Officer & Senior VP at CommScope Holding Co., Inc. In his past career he was Chief Operating Officer at Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp., Chief Financial Officer of Accudyne Industries LLC, Chief Executive Officer-Ravenswood Operations at Constellium SE, Finance Director of Hexion Specialty Chemicals, Inc., Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President for Express Energy Services LLC, Vice President-Corporate Development for Berry Global, Inc., Vice President-Epoxy & Phenolics Finance Division at Momentive Specialty Chemicals Holdings LLC and Vice President-Strategic Development at Covalence Specialty Materials Corp.

Mr. Watts joined the Board of Directors in 2011 and serves as our Chairman. He previously served as Lead Independent Director from 2017 to 2020 and a member of the Compensation Committee from 2011 to 2020 and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee from 2013 to 2020. He is a private investor and founder of Meeting Street Capital, which invests in early-stage software and tech-enabled services businesses. He also serves as a Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Group, where he was a partner until 2017. Mr. Watts established Carlyle’s Technology Buyout business in 2004 and led it until 2014. Prior to joining Carlyle in 2000, Mr. Watts was a Managing Director in the M&A group of First Union Securities, Inc. which he joined when it acquired Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co., where he was a principal.

Opinion: Commscope is a case of self-inflicted wounds. On November 8th, 2018 COMM purchased Arris Networks for over $7 billion in cash.  It was supposed to generate $1 Billion in cash flow and be more than 30% accretive to earnings. At the time COMM was trading around $25 per share. According to the press release that day, “With a unique set of complementary assets and capabilities that enable end-to-end communications infrastructure solutions, the combined company is expected to generate approximately $1 billion in cash flow from operations1 in the first full year after closing. Upon completion of the transaction, CommScope’s net leverage (debt less cash) ratio based on pro forma adjusted EBITDA1 for the 12 months ended September 30, 2018 is expected to be 5.1x, including full run-rate synergies of $150 million. Given the increased scale and cash flow generation, as well as both companies’ track records of successful integration, CommScope expects to rapidly de-lever, targeting a net leverage ratio of approximately 4.0x in the second full year after closing. Long term, the company is targeting a net leverage ratio of 2.0x to 3.0x.”

Fast forward to today. The stock is below $10 per share, three years later. CommScope Holding Company shareholders face the double whammy of a high net debt to EBITDA ratio (7.8), and fairly weak interest coverage, since EBIT is just 0.65 times the interest expense. The debt burden here is substantial, nearly $10 billion. I have zero confidence in any of the management including the old management let go and the new ones hired in 2020.

 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Duncan Timothy S
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19 Shares Bought: 35,000 Average Price Paid: $9.80 Cost: $343,150

Name: Abendschein Robert D
Position: Executive Vice President and Head of Operations
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19 Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $9.74 Cost: $243,450

Name: Parker John Arthur
Position: Founder and Executive Vice President
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19 Shares Bought: 18,000 Average Price Paid: $9.68 Cost: $174,240

Name: Young III Shannon E
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19 Shares Bought: 15,000 Average Price Paid: $9.58 Cost: $143,715
Company: Talos Energy Inc. (TALO)
Talos Energy Inc., an independent exploration and production company, focuses on the exploration and production of oil and natural gas properties in the United States Gulf of Mexico and offshore Mexico. As of December 31, 2020, the company had proved reserves of 163.0 million barrels of oil equivalent, consisting of 109,307 thousand barrels of crude oil, 257,208 million cubic feet of natural gas, and 10,858 thousand barrels of crude oil. Talos Energy Inc. has a strategic alliance with TechnipFMC plc to develop and deliver technical and commercial solutions to carbon capture and storage projects along the United States Gulf Coast. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in Houston, Texas. As one of the leading independent operators in the Gulf of Mexico, Talos is proud of the role it plays in safely and responsibly serving the critical energy supply chain that supports our modern society in countless ways. Corporate responsibility is at the core of Talos’s daily operations and culture, with a constant focus on maintaining safe operations, producing in an environmentally conscious and sustainable manner, and acting as a positive force in local communities.

Tim Duncan is a founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Talos Energy. Prior to Talos Energy, Mr. Duncan was the Senior Vice President of Business Development and a founder of Phoenix Exploration Company LP, where he was responsible for Phoenix’s business development evaluations and negotiations, including the sale of the company to a group of buyers led by Apache Corporation. Prior to Phoenix, he was Manager of Reservoir Engineering and Evaluations for Gryphon Exploration Company. Mr. Duncan also worked in various reservoir engineering and portfolio evaluation functions for Amerada Hess Corporation, Zilkha Energy Company, and Pennzoil E&P Company.

Bob Abendschein is the Executive Vice President and Head of Operations for Talos Energy. Prior to Talos, Mr. Abendschein was the Chief Executive Officer of Venari Resources LLC, where he was appointed by a consortium of private equity investors to lead the advancement of multiple globally recognized development projects and managed all stages of strategy, exploration, and operational leadership activities. Before joining Venari, Mr. Abendschein spent 33 years at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, where held various corporate and executive divisional roles, including Vice President of Deepwater and Vice President of Exploration and Production Services.

John Parker is a Founder and Executive Vice President—Exploration of Talos Energy. Prior to Talos Energy, Mr. Parker was the Senior Vice President of Exploration and an original founder of Phoenix Exploration Company LP, where he was responsible for Phoenix’s exploration program. Phoenix made several significant discoveries resulting in impactful reserve additions which led to the sale of the company to a group of buyers led by Apache Corporation. Prior to Phoenix, he was Exploration Manager of the Texas Shelf at Gryphon Exploration, where he generated prospects and supervised the prospect generation of the Texas exploration team.

Shane Young is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Talos Energy. Prior to joining Talos, Mr. Young served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Sheridan Production Company, LLC since 2016, where he oversaw Sheridan’s finance organization. Before joining Sheridan, Mr. Young served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Cobalt International Energy, Inc. from September 2015 to July 2016. Prior to joining Cobalt, Mr. Young served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Talos Energy LLC from December 2014 to September 2015.

Opinion: I’m of the mind to buy the commodity and not the stocks. Carbon capture might be a big deal too as the world finds it can’t get off the hydrocarbon teat and gives in to an increasingly dystopian future. Right now I’d bet heavily on crude with this recent Covid variant pullback.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Hernandez Marlow
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-22  Shares Bought: 8,000 Average Price Paid: $9.65 Cost: $77,200
Company: Canoo Inc. (CANO)
Canoo Inc., a mobility technology company, designs, engineers, develops and manufactures electric vehicles for commercial and consumer markets in the United States. The company offers B2B delivery vehicles, multi-purpose delivery vehicles, and lifestyle vehicles using skateboard architecture technology. It intends to serve small businesses, independent contractors, service technicians, retailers, corporations, logistics companies, fleet managers, and others. Canoo’s mission is to bring EVs to everyone. The company has developed breakthrough electric vehicles that are reinventing the automotive landscape with bold innovations in design, pioneering technologies, and a unique business model that spans all owners in the full lifecycle of the vehicle. Distinguished by its experienced team from leading technology and automotive companies – Canoo has designed a modular electric platform purpose-built to deliver maximum vehicle interior space that is customizable across all owners in the vehicle lifecycle to support a wide range of vehicle applications for consumers and businesses. Canoo has offices in California and Texas, Michigan, and Minnesota.

Dr. Marlow Hernandez is the Chief Executive Officer of Cano Health and serves on its Board of Directors. Under Hernandez’s leadership, Cano Health has become one of the fastest-growing and most respected healthcare companies in Florida abiding by cultural attributes, which stand on the principles of always placing the needs of patients above all else; while striving to create a better and sustainable health care model to improve the lives of all Americans. Hernandez began practicing medicine in Pembroke Pines, FL alongside his family’s dental practice. Practicing medicine, running the medical business, while also taking on the task of night and weekend duties at local hospitals, Hernandez became one of the most accomplished medical professionals in the state before reaching the age of 30.

Opinion: This could be a big winner. We love the management. Smart, committed, and all in with their dollars and hearts. Hernandez has spent over $16 million on open market purchases of Cano.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Ginns Jonny#$
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-19 Shares Bought: 52,631 Average Price Paid: $9.46 Cost: $497,663
Company: Ecovyst Inc. (ECVT)
Energized by an over 200-year history – Their company is now simpler, stronger, leaner, nimbler – and solidly positioned for growth. Ecovyst is a pure-play catalyst and services company. As catalysts for positive change, their technologies play a critical role in supporting ecological health and propelling expansion and growth for their customers. At Ecovyst, they are ready for change. They position themselves to be responsive and fast adapting to the rapidly changing economic environments, supporting their customers with solutions that grow and extend their business growth and sustainability goals. Their critical and tailored products enable them to be partners in creating novel solutions, improving customer production processes. At Ecovyst, they are prioritizing and accelerating their growing and greening initiatives, and are putting sustainability for a safer, cleaner, healthier world at the forefront of our forward strategy. Ecovyst Inc. provides specialty catalysts and services in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and internationally. The company offers sulfuric acid recycling services for alkylation producers; and virgin sulfuric acid for mining, water treatment, and agricultural product applications. It also provides silica-based catalysts and zeolite catalysts for producers and licensors of polyethylene. The company was formerly known as PQ Group Holdings Inc. and changed its name to Ecovyst Inc. in August 2021. Ecovyst Inc. was founded in 1831 and is headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Jonny Ginns has served on our Board since 2010. Mr. Ginns joined INEOS in 2006 as the Group General Counsel, having worked as an external lawyer for a number of years before that. He has experience across a wide range of fields, including mergers & acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, litigation, finance, and employee benefits, and acts as a director for a number of INEOS entities. Because of his significant core business skills, including financial and strategic planning, we believe Mr. Ginns is well qualified to serve on our Board.

Opinion: Ecovyst slammed a $9.50 per share secondary down its bag holders. You know this if you invest in early stage biotech. Hope this is the last one sucka’s. I doubt if it is.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Knight Craig Matthew
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-22 Shares Bought: 166,000 Average Price Paid: $8.22 Cost: $1,365,151
Company: Hyzon Motors Inc. (HYZN)
Hyzon was established as a new business of Horizon Fuel Cell. Hyzon is a global supplier of zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell-powered commercial vehicles, including heavy-duty trucks, buses, and coaches. Headquartered in Rochester, NY, and with operations in Europe, Singapore, Australia, and China, the company is led by Hyzon co-founders George Gu, Craig Knight, and Gary Robb and commercializes Horizon’s 17 years of hydrogen technology development for the transport sector. Hyzon was known as the Heavy Vehicle Business Unit (HVBU) of Horizon and was responsible for the development of fuel cell systems and the delivery of about 500 fuel cell-powered commercial vehicles during 2019 and 2020, leveraging the deep and extensive experience bolstered within the group. Its establishment as a standalone entity was to focus on accelerating the energy transition through the manufacturing and supply of hydrogen fuel cell-powered commercial vehicles across the North American, European, and Australasian regions.

Craig Knight founded Hyzon Motors, Inc. Presently, Mr. Knight is Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director at Hyzon Motors, Inc., Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director at Hyzon Motors, Inc., and Managing Director at Hymas Pte Ltd. Mr. Knight is also on the board of Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies Pte Ltd. (former Chief Executive Officer). 

Opinion: This is a concept stock. It doesn’t matter that an insider bought the stock.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Adelman David J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18 Shares Bought: 100,000 Average Price Paid: $4.90 Cost: $490,000
Company: Wheels Up Experience Inc. (UP)
Wheels Up Experience Inc. provides private aviation services primarily in the United States. The company offers a suite of products and services, which include multi-tiered membership programs, on-demand flights across various private aircraft cabin categories, aircraft management, retail and wholesale charter, whole aircraft acquisitions and sales, corporate flight solutions, special missions, signature events, and experiences, and commercial travel. It operates a fleet of approximately 1,500 owned, leased, managed, and third-party aircraft. The company was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in New York, New York. Wheels Up Experience Inc., formerly Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp., is a private aviation company. It is developing data and technology-driven solutions that connect consumers to safety-vetted and verified private aircraft. Its offerings consist of products and services, that include multi-tiered membership programs, on-demand flights across private aircraft cabin categories, aircraft management, retail and wholesale charter, whole aircraft acquisitions and sales, corporate flight solutions, signature events and experiences, and commercial travel benefits. It offers three membership Connect, Core and Business, which provides flight sharing, empty-leg Hot Flights, Shuttle Flights, Shared Flights, signature Wheels Down events, and member benefits from preeminent lifestyle brands. Its fleet consists of custom-painted Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft. It consists of five aircraft: The Camouflage Plane, The Pink Plane, The Red Plane, The Teal Plane, and The Orange Plane.

Mr. Adelman has served as a member of the board of directors of WUP since October 2013. Mr. Adelman is a Philadelphia-based entrepreneur and active private investor. He is the co-founder and has served as the Vice-Chairman of FS Investments, a leading manager of alternative investment funds with $24 billion of assets under management, since December 2007. Mr. Adelman has also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Campus Apartments, a Philadelphia-founded firm that he built into a national leader in student housing development and management, with more than $2 billion in assets under management across 17 states, since 1997. Mr. Adelman has also led Darco Capital as its founder since March 2007 which has made over 50 investments in the venture capital and private equity spaces across multiple disciplines like fintech; sports & media; life sciences; and consumer-facing brands.

Opinion: No, at some point this stock will either go bust or it will get swept away.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Rapp Edward J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18 Shares Bought: 100,000 Average Price Paid: $4.27 Cost: $426,820
Company: Xos Inc. (XOS)
Xos is a leading manufacturer of fully electric, zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, powertrain components, and charging infrastructure. The company was founded in 2016 by Dakota Semler and Giordano Sordoni, two former fleet owners and operators, who sought to build an electric vehicle to solve the issues they were facing first-hand around increasing emissions regulations and the rising costs of maintenance and diesel. Xos’ mission is to decarbonize commercial transportation and facilitate a seamless transition for fleet owners from traditional internal combustion engines to fully-electric vehicles. Its proprietary battery system, the X-Pack, and modular chassis, the X-Platform, are purpose-built for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles in the last-mile sector. The fleet-as-a-service offering provides customers with a comprehensive suite of products and services, such as vehicle maintenance and purchase financing, to help fleets more easily make the transition from diesel to electric. Xos vehicles have been in use by commercial fleets since 2018 and are currently operated by multiple Fortune 500 companies. Notable customers include FedEx ISPs, Loomis, UniFirst, and Wiggins Lift Co. to name a few. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, where its battery packs are built in-house, and has additional manufacturing facilities in Tennessee and Mexico, with more to come in the near future. In August 2021, the company went public and now trades on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol, XOS.

Mr. Edward J. Rapp is an Independent Director at Xos, Inc., an Independent Director at AbbVie, Inc., and a Member-Business Strategic Development Board at the University of Missouri. He is on the Board of Directors at Xos, Inc., AbbVie, Inc., Affiliated FM Insurance Co. (Canada), Factory Mutual Insurance Co. /Canada/ and Junior Achievement USA. Mr. Rapp was previously employed as a Group President-Construction Industries by Caterpillar, Inc. and a Chief Executive Officer by Caterpillar (U.K.) Ltd. He also served on the board at ASV, Inc., Caterpillar Financial Services Corp., Factory Mutual Insurance Co., and US-China Business Council.

Opinion: There are dozens and perhaps scores of EV companies.  We are witnessing the gold rush and the attendant fall out.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Jones Clinton P
Position: CEO 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-11-22  Shares Bought: 530,000 Average Price Paid: $3.66 Cost: $1,939,270

Name: Cruz Brandon M
Position: CEO 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-11-22  Shares Bought: 530,000 Average Price Paid: $3.66 Cost: $1,939,270
Company: GoHealth Inc. (GOCO)
GoHealth, Inc. operates as a health insurance marketplace and Medicare-focused digital health company in the United States. It operates through four segments: Medicare—Internal; Medicare—External; Individual and Family Plans (IFP) and Other—Internal; and Individual and Family Plans and Other—External. The company operates a technology platform that leverages machine-learning algorithms of insurance behavioral data to optimize the process for helping individuals find the health insurance plan for their specific needs. Its products include Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Medicare prescription drug plans, and Medicare Special Needs Plans; and IFP, dental plans, vision plans, and other ancillary plans to individuals. The company sells its products through the carrier and online platforms, as well as independent and external agencies. GoHealth, Inc. was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. GoHealth has an ambitious mission: To improve access to healthcare in America. Achieving this mission relies on hiring and developing great people, which is why their team is their top priority. They encourage employees to do their best work through innovation and risk-taking. Their environment is fun yet constructive, thanks to leaders whose doors are always open. And most importantly, They’ll never stop investing in you and your career.  Included in the Deloitte Technology Fast500, Crain’s Fast 50, Top 100 Digital Companies, and 101 Best Places to Work, GoHealth continues to attract the best in the business. At GoHealth, it’s their employees who drive their success, which is why they understand the importance of corporate culture. When you join #TeamGoHealth, you’ll receive benefits such as health care coverage, a 401k plan, and most importantly, unlimited career growth opportunities.

Clint P. Jones is the co-founder of GoHealth and has served as GoHealth’s Chief Executive Officer since GoHealth’s founding in 2001. He has also been a member of GoHealth, Inc.’s board of directors since 2020 and a member of GoHealth Holdings, LLC’s board of managers since 2019, as well as serving on the board of managers of GoHealth’s predecessor since its founding in 2001. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of Bridge Legal. From June 2000 to January 2001, Mr. Jones served as Intranet Market Manager for Holt Value, a former division of Credit Suisse. Mr. Jones speaks regularly at industry events and conferences. He is also active in insurance regulatory forums. In 2013, Mr. Jones was recognized by Ernst & Young as the Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year and was also named to the annual Chicago leadership list, Crain’s 40 under 40.

Brandon M. Cruz is the co-founder of GoHealth and has served as GoHealth’s Chief Strategy Officer since 2020. Prior to this role, he served as President of GoHealth since its founding in 2001. He has also been a member of GoHealth, Inc.’s board of directors since 2020 and a member of GoHealth Holdings, LLC’s board of managers since 2019, as well as serving on the board of managers of GoHealth’s predecessor since its founding. From 1999 to 2000, Mr. Cruz worked at Lante Corp. as a systems developer. Mr. Cruz is recognized throughout the technology industry as an influential thought leader and speaks regularly on topics related to technology, health insurance, and business operations. He is a board member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and serves on the board of Homecare Holdings, HealthJoy, and Imerman Angels. Mr. Cruz has also served as a member of the board of directors of Creatix, Inc., our subsidiary, from 2016 to 2019.

Opinion: GoHealth is a marketplace for Medicare plans including Medicare Advantage, MediGap and Medicare Part D, which are programs administered through private health insurance companies. It also operates an online health insurance marketplace offering individual health insurance and short-term health insurance.

What is the problem with this stock and the sector, online health insurance>

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Brennan Ed
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18 Shares Bought: 500,000 Average Price Paid: $1.22 Cost: $607,750
Company: NewAge Inc. (NBEV)
NewAge, Inc. develops, markets, sells and distributes healthy products in the United States, Japan, China, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Direct / Social Selling and Direct Store. It provides health and wellness, energy drink, essential oil and anti-aging skincare, cosmetic, beverage, snacks, water and air filtration, and personal care products, as well as weight management, nutritional supplement, nutraceutical, and slenderiize products; diagnostic products, such as DNA testing and diagnostic kits and products; and CBD products. The company offers its products under the Tahitian Noni, LIMU, Zennoa, LIMU Blue Frog, Hiro Natural, TeMana, Lucim, Reviive, Puritii, and MaVie brands. It sells its products directly to customers, as well as through distributors, e-commerce sites, and direct-store-delivery systems. The company was formerly known as New Age Beverages Corporation and changed its name to NewAge, Inc. in July 2020. NewAge, Inc. was incorporated in 2010 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

Ed Brennan serves as Independent Director of the Company. Mr. Brennan has served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Duty-Free Stores since 1996 and is the former Chief Marketing Officer at Macy’s. Since 2013, Mr. Brennen has been the owner and Chief Executive Officer of Beak and Skiff Orchards, a private company that owns apple orchards and operates an entertainment destination. He is a graduate of Niagara University. Mr. Brennan was chosen to be a director because of extensive experience in running multinational companies, and extensive experience in the retail industry.

Opinion:

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Ramsay David A
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18 Shares Bought: 200,000 Average Price Paid: $1.08 Cost: $215,393
Company: Savara Inc. (SVRA)
Savara is an orphan lung disease company. Their lead program, Molgradex, is an inhaled granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in Phase 3 development for autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (APAP). Their management team has significant experience in orphan drug development and pulmonary medicine, identifying unmet needs, and effectively advancing product candidates to approval and commercialization. They focus on rare respiratory diseases in order to give patients with unmet medical needs better treatment options. Savara is a fast-paced, high-energy organization. They seek talented individuals who are leaders in their functional area of expertise, effective problem solvers, and have the desire to make a difference. As a growing pharmaceutical company, Savara provides the opportunity to work across many different functional areas and believes that every role significantly contributes to Savara’s success.

David Ramsay CPA serves as Independent Director of the Company. Since 2011, he has served as a director of Savara, Inc. In 2018, Mr. Ramsay served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Bonti, Inc. From 2003 to 2015, he held various positions at Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc., most recently serving as Chief Financial Officer. From 2000 to 2003, Mr. Ramsay served as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of Lathian Systems, Inc. From 1998 to 2000, he served as Vice President, Treasurer, and Director, Corporate Finance at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (formerly ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc.).

Opinion:

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Collins Cooper C
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-18 Shares Bought: 1,000,000 Average Price Paid: $0.58 Cost: $578,500
Company: TherapeuticsMD Inc. (TXMD)
TherapeuticsMD, Inc. operates as a women’s healthcare company in the United States. The company offers IMVEXXY for the treatment of moderate-to-severe dyspareunia; BIJUVA, a bio-identical hormone therapy combination of 17ß-estradiol and progesterone for the treatment of moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms; and ANNOVERA, a ring-shaped contraceptive vaginal system. Its preclinical projects include the development of TX-005HR, a progesterone-alone transdermal cream; TX-006HR, and estradiol and progesterone transdermal cream; and TX-007HR and TX-008HR, which are transdermal patch product candidates. The company’s clinical development product is TX-009HR, oral progesterone, and estradiol formulation. It also manufactures and distributes branded and generic prescription prenatal vitamins under the via true, vitaPearl, vitaMedMD, and BocaGreenMD Prena1 brands. The company sells its prescription prenatal vitamin and hormone therapy drug products to wholesale distributors and retail pharmacy distributors. They create products to address the unique changes and challenges women experience through every stage of their lives. With momentum fueled by the needs of their customers, They combine entrepreneurial spirit and clinical expertise to develop innovative solutions designed to go beyond what is presently available. This includes a variety of therapies in our pipeline, along with prescription prenatal vitamins under the vitaMedMD® and BocaGreenMD® brands. TherapeuticsMD, Inc. was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.

Cooper C. Collins serves as Independent Director of the Company. Mr. Collins has served as Chief Executive Officer of Fortis BioPharma LLC since June 2015. Mr. Collins served as Chief Strategy Officer of Pernix Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. [NASDAQ: PTX], or Pernix, from May 2013 until April 2014, as its President and Chief Executive Officer from March 2010 until May 2013, and as a director from March 2010 until February 2014. Mr. Collins joined Pernix Therapeutics, Inc., a predecessor of Pernix, in 2002, where he was appointed as a director in January 2007, its President in December 2007, and its Chief Executive Officer in June 2008, serving in those three capacities until March 2010.

Opinion:

 


 

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$DOCU $ADBE I used to think that Adobe was a real threat and huge competitor to Docusign. But now I believe Docusign is an existential threat to Acrobat. Both Salesforce and Microsoft teams are deep integrating Docusign into their products. Acrobat is stale and stalled technology

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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