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.

3 Intel birds, 2 Dow Doves, and Archer Aviation in a Pear Tree, on the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:  The shelves might be bare in some stores this XMAS season but there is nothing short of miraculous how the stock market does nothing but power higher. The performance race to the finish we highlighted two weeks ago is game on.  We’ve got a few names to analyze this week and some names with high confidence to pop,  so let’s get right down to it.

Finviz Chart

Name: Duffy Terrence A
Position: CEO Chairman
Transaction Date: 2021-11-04  Shares Bought: 1,600 Average Price Paid: $220.21 Cost: $352,337
Company: Cme Group Inc. (CME)
CME Group Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates contract markets for the trading of futures and options on futures contracts worldwide. It offers futures and options products based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, agricultural commodities, energy, and metals, as well as fixed income products through its electronic trading platforms, open outcry, and privately negotiated transactions. The company also provides clearing for exchange-traded contracts and cleared swaps, as well as settlement services; and transaction lifecycle management services, such as trade and portfolio management, financial resource optimization, regulatory reporting, and trade processing. In addition, the company offers a range of market data services, including real-time and historical data services. It serves professional traders, financial institutions, institutional and individual investors, corporations, manufacturers, producers, governments, and central banks. The company has a strategic partnership with B3 S.A. to develop risk management products for Brazilian domestic and international market participants. The company was formerly known as Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc. and changed its name to CME Group Inc. in July 2007. CME Group Inc. was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

The Honorable Terrence A. Duffy serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Previously, he served as Executive Chairman and President since 2012 and as Executive Chairman since 2006, when he became an officer of the company. He served as Chairman of the board since 2002 and as Vice Chairman from 1998 until 2002. Mr. Duffy has been a member of the board since 1995. He was President of TDA Trading, Inc. from 1981 to 2002 and has been a member of CME since 1981. Mr. Duffy was appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2003 as a member of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB), a position he held until 2013. The FRTIB administers the Thrift Savings Plan, a tax-deferred defined contribution (retirement savings) plan for federal employees. Mr. Duffy was named CEO of the Year at FOW’s 2018 International Awards.

Opinion: CME with a market capitalization of $79.8B is one of the last true monopoly exchanges investors that investors can buy.  Years of consolidation have left just a handful of financial exchanges. In 2012 The New Yor Stock Exchange was acquired by the Intercontinental Exchange for $8.2Billion.   Nasdaq is still independent and growing n, as well as the CBOE.  Euronext N.V. is a pan-European stock exchange, operating listing venues in Amsterdam (where it is domiciled), Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon, Milan, Oslo, and Paris.[6] In May 2021, it had nearly 1,900 listed issuers worth €5.6 trillion in market capitalization. In March 2016, the London Stock Exchange Group had announced it had reached an agreement with Deutsche Börse to merge.

Revenues have been stagnant since 2019 and CME stock has been in a trading range since that time. It’s now at the upper band. This is the first buy Duffy has made since becoming its CEO. There The problem is that regulators will probably put the kibosh on any further consolidation in the financial exchange business under a Democratic regime. The M&A in the space has been around the acquisition of data vendors. This is Duffy’s first buy as a CEO and I’m struggling with the motivation. It’s not a large enough buy to be simplistic, that he’s trying to make money with a $352,237 purchase.  I’m more inclined to think he’s trying to look like a team player and cheerleader with his $11.86 million per year total compensation in 2021.

Description Symbol Market Cap Enterprise Value P/E TTM Price to Free Cash Flow TTM Dividend Yield
CME Group CME $79.68B $81.56B 41.44 42.15 1.62%
Intercontinental ICE $76.67B $90.28B 25.115 25.79 0.97%
Nasdaq NDAQ $35.59B $40.66B 31.53 50.82 1.01%
MSCI MSCI $53.87B $56.74B 79.19 62.35 0.64%
CBOE CBOE $14.21B $15.09B 31.88 9.46 1.44%

The chart above has a few of the metrics you can compare these financial exchanges against. For my money, we are big owners of CBOE. In comparison, it looks undervalued. On October 20th, 2021 CBOE purchased ErisX. It provides Cboe with entry to digital asset spot and derivatives markets, including clearing and settlement. Cboe said it plans to create a Digital Advisory Committee of industry participants to develop an industry standard-setting platform, an opportunity to build comprehensive digital asset market data offering, create indices and explore further derivatives products.

Bloomberg ran an article on August 18 that CME was interested in purchasing rival exchange CBOE. The stock ran as high as $138 before CME denied that report. We tweeted where there is smoke there is often fire.  We have a decent position in CBOE and after doing this post, I am inclined to buy more.  I’ll nibble at CME, maybe sell below the market puts but admittedly don’t see it. I know enough, though, not to question the logic of informed insider buys too closely.

Finviz Chart

Name: Jeffery Reuben
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-02 Shares Bought: 2,700 Average Price Paid: $188.39 Cost: $508,653
Company: Affiliated Managers Group Inc. (AMG)
Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. is an American international investment management company headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida. that owns stakes in several boutique asset management, hedge fund, and specialized private equity firms. Through its affiliates, affiliated Managers Group, Inc. operates as an asset management company providing investment management services to mutual funds, institutional clients, and high net worth individuals in the United States. It provides advisory or sub-advisory services to mutual funds. These funds are distributed to retail and institutional clients directly and through intermediaries, including independent investment advisors, retirement plan sponsors broker-dealers, major fund marketplaces, and bank trust departments. The company also offers investment products in various investment styles in the institutional distribution channel, including small, small/mid, mid, and large-capitalization value and growth equity, and emerging markets. In addition, it offers quantitative, alternative, and fixed income products and manages assets for foundations and endowments, defined benefits, and defined contribution plans for corporations and municipalities. Affiliated Managers Group provides investment management or customized investment counseling and fiduciary services. The company was formed as a corporation under the laws of Delaware in 1993. Affiliated Managers Group is based in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts. They identify and partner with investment firms around the world specializing in actively-managed investment strategies. The AMG Partnership Approach preserves each Affiliate’s essential elements of success, including operational and investment autonomy and direct equity ownership across successive generations of management, and provides access to the scale and resources of a global asset management firm.

Reuben Jeffery III has been a director of the Company since April 2020. Mr. Jeffery served as President and Chief Executive Officer and member of Rockefeller & Co. and Rockefeller Financial Services, Inc. from 2010 to 2018. He previously served seven years in the U.S. government in a variety of positions, including as Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs; Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and as Special Assistant to the President on the staff of the National Security Council (2002-2009). At Goldman, Sachs & Co., Mr. Jeffery was Managing Partner of the firm’s Paris office and its European Financial Institutions Group in London. He began his career as a corporate attorney with Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Currently, Mr. Jeffery serves as an independent director and chairman of the board of SMBC Americas Holdings, Inc. 

Opinion: Nothing like buying at the top for an insider. It means one thing, Business is good going to stay good and maybe much better than people think. This is Reuben’s fifth buy of AMG since May of 2020 when he purchased 10,000 shares at $65.21.  Now he’s paying $188.39 to buy 2700 shares.  Does it get any more bullish than that?

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Fraser James Christopher
Position: CAO
Transaction Date: 2021-10-29 Shares Bought: 1,500  Average Price Paid: $145.18 Cost: $217,776

Name: Branagan Ian D
Position: EVP Group Chief Risk Officer
Transaction Date: 2021-10-29 Shares Bought: 3,440  Average Price Paid: $143.93 Cost: $495,113

Name: Qutub Robert
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2021-10-29 Shares Bought: 3,400  Average Price Paid: $144.14 Cost: $490,087

Name: ODonnell Kevin
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-10-29 Shares Bought: 15,000  Average Price Paid: $144.14 Cost: $2,162,150

Name: Curtis Ross
Position: EVP Chief Underwriting Officer
Transaction Date: 2021-10-29 Shares Bought: 6,900  Average Price Paid: $144.14 Cost: $994,588
Company: Renaissance Holdings Ltd. (RNR)
RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. provides reinsurance and insurance coverages and related services to a range of customers. The Company’s products include property, casualty, specialty reinsurance, and certain insurance products principally distributed through intermediaries. Its segments include Property, Casualty and Specialty, and another category. The Property segment consisted of catastrophe and other property reinsurance and insurance written on behalf of its operating subsidiaries and certain joint ventures managed by its ventures unit. The Casualty and Specialty segment consisted of casualty and specialty reinsurance and insurance written on behalf of its operating subsidiaries and certain joint ventures managed by its ventures unit. Its Other category includes its strategic investments, investments unit, corporate expenses, capital servicing. The Casualty and Specialty segment offers certain casualty insurance products through RenaissanceRe Syndicate 1458 (Syndicate 1458).

Presently, James C. Fraser is Chief Accounting Officer & Senior Vice President of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. Mr. Fraser previously was Vice President & Head-Internal Audit at Renaissance Reinsurance Ltd.

Ian Branagan is responsible for all aspects of RenaissanceRe’s Enterprise Risk Management, manages corporate strategy development, and leads the company’s Insurtech endeavors.  Mr. Branagan also represents RenaissanceRe on collaborative initiatives across public and private sectors to build resilience in vulnerable communities worldwide and lessen the impacts of economic and environmental disasters. Mr. Branagan joined RenaissanceRe in 1998 to open the Dublin branch and lead the company’s modeling and client risk intelligence activities.  He relocated to Bermuda and, most recently London, assuming underwriting authority for several business classes and ultimately becoming Group Chief Risk Officer in 2009.

Robert Qutub is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of RenaissanceRe, where he is responsible for Finance, Investments, Treasury, Operations, IT, and Human Resources. Before joining RenaissanceRe, Mr. Qutub was Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI) from July 2012 to May 2016, where he managed all aspects of SEC reporting, treasury, investor relations, financial planning, and internal controls, as well as other responsibilities. Before MSCI, Mr. Qutub was with Bank of America for 18 years, where he held several segment Chief Financial Officer roles.

Kevin J. O’Donnell has served as Chief Executive Officer of RenaissanceRe since July 2013 and as President since November 2012. He is responsible for the oversight and management of the Company’s reinsurance and insurance businesses. Before becoming President of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd., Mr. O’Donnell served as Executive Vice President and Global Chief Underwriter from 2010. He acted as President of Renaissance Reinsurance Ltd. from 2005, overseeing the Company’s reinsurance lines, including Property and Casualty & Specialty reinsurance, as well as its joint ventures. Mr. O’Donnell has served as Chief Underwriting Officer for the Company’s key joint ventures, Top Layer Re and DaVinci Re. In 2009, he directed the launch of RenaissanceRe Syndicate 1458 at Lloyd’s.

Ross A. Curtis has served as Group Chief Underwriting Officer of RenaissanceRe since July 2014. Mr. Curtis is responsible for directing RenaissanceRe’s underwriting strategy, activities, and teams across all regions and platforms to ensure the highest levels of consistency and customer service. Mr. Curtis is based in Bermuda. Previously, Mr. Curtis was responsible for the underwriting strategy, processes, and standards for the Lloyd’s and European businesses of Renaissance Reinsurance Ltd. and was based in London, England. He was appointed to the Executive Committee of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. in May 2010. Before this, Mr. Curtis was Senior Vice President of Renaissance Reinsurance Ltd. in Bermuda, primarily responsible for underwriting the International and Retrocessional Property Catastrophe portfolios, along with responsibility for Ceded Reinsurance and involvement in the development of the Specialty Reinsurance lines.

Opinion: Whatever happened to RenaissanceRe was enough for a crescendo of insider buying, adding enough is enough to the market conversation.  That put a hard stop on the relentless share price slide for the time being. It was a disastrous year for those betting against catastrophic events.  Frequent and stronger hurricanes, floods, fires, and other natural disasters seem to be just some of the consequences of global warming.  The folks over at RNR think this was a fluke but they’re most likely wrong. Either that or they know the price of property and casualty insurance is going up.  Berkshire Hathaway just published their quarterly earnings and they showed a $784 million underwriting loss last quarter too. Hey folks, guess what- your insurance is going up in price like everything else around you.

I don’t have a strong opinion on this one other than when you see clusters of insider buying, you should buy stock too. 

 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Oleary Denis
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-01 Shares Bought: 15,700 Average Price Paid: $99.35 Cost: $1,559,795
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.

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: Fintech has been under pressure lately and although I wouldn’t call the Company a Fintech, its efforts to join the fray have been”uninspiring according to RBC analysts Daniel Perlin who lowered his price target on Fiserv to $130 from $140 after Q3 earnings. Fiserv was a slow but steady revenue grower until the Company changed gears in 2019 and began an acquisition binge, buying First Data, which nearly tripled its annual revenues from $5.82B in 2018 to its $15.8B trailing twelve months run rate today. That kind of growth can cause indigestion and the shareholders have paid a price since then, with FISV underperforming the S&P 500 by 50% points.  It doesn’t help that major First Data shareholder KKR has been sitting on the bid and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the selling.

Someone should be fired. Well, actually the CEO of Fiserv was fired and replaced with the CEO of First Data.  That’s a cruel payoff but hardly surprising. Readers of the Insiders Report know that I am generally disgusted by private equity taking out companies, loading them with debt then arranging to resell them again to a duped public in an IPO or now a SPAC. There is rarely anything good that comes out of private equity roadkill other than the rapacious returns for the general partners of the P.E shops.

Perhaps major shareholder KKR and Chairman of the Board O’Leary see a way to keep Fiserv relevant in the age of Paypal, Square, Marcus, and Defi. I just don’t see it. The company may look cheap on a DCF analysis but the long-term debt of $20 billion in an industry that may be in the middle of major disruption is not something that can be dismissed. Until Fiserv can unload some of that debt, the story is not pretty.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Angelakis Michael J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-05-26  Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $64.00 Cost: $320,000
Company: Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)
Exxon Mobil Corporation, stylized as ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation headquartered in Irving, Texas. It is the largest direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. It was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon (formerly the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey) and Mobil (formerly the Standard Oil Company of New York). ExxonMobil’s primary brands are Exxon, Mobil, Esso, and ExxonMobil Chemical. ExxonMobil was incorporated in New Jersey. One of the world’s largest companies by revenue, ExxonMobil, from 1996 to 2017 varied from the first to the sixth-largest publicly-traded company by exchange capitalization. The company was ranked third globally in the Forbes Global 2000 list in 2016.ExxonMobil was the tenth most profitable company in the Fortune 500 in 2017. As of 2018, the company ranked second in the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. Institutions hold approximately 55.56% of the company’s shares. As of March 2019, ExxonMobil’s largest shareholders include The Vanguard Group (8.15%), BlackRock (6.61%), and State Street Corporation (4.83%). ExxonMobil is one of the largest of the world’s Big Oil companies. As of 2007, it had a daily production of 3.921 million BOE (barrels of oil equivalent), but significantly smaller than several national companies. When ranked by oil and gas reserves, it is 14th in the world—with less than 1% of the total. ExxonMobil’s reserves were 20 billion BOE at the end of 2016, and the 2007 meters of production were expected to last more than 14 years. With 37 oil refineries in 21 countries constituting a combined daily refining capacity of 6.3 million barrels (1,000,000 m3), ExxonMobil is the seventh-largest refiner in the world. This title was also associated with Standard Oil since its incorporation in 1870.

Angelakis is chairman and CEO of Atairos; an independent strategic investment company focused on supporting growth-oriented businesses across various industries. Before founding Atairos, he served as Comcast Corporation’s vice chairman and chief financial officer. Angelakis led strategic planning, capital allocation, and corporate development in those roles, including overseeing Comcast’s successful transition into media and other technologies. Angelakis is a non-executive director of TriNet Group, Inc. and Groupon, Inc., and is a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Ubben co-founded Inclusive Capital Partners, a San Francisco-based investment firm focused on increasing shareholder value and promoting sound environmental, social, and governance practices. Previously, he was a co-founder of ValueAct Capital Partners, an investment firm emphasizing strong, constructive relationships with company management teams and boards.

Opinion: At some point in the future, there is a very good probability, that the internal combustion engine automobile will disappear. No one really knows exactly when, or even if this will be possible yet most major auto manufacturers have plans to end production of their ICE fleets. Is this a pipedream or a reality? The answer to that is really everything when it comes to evaluating the merits of investing in fossil fuels.  Even the greenest of climate projections has natural gas playing a role well into the future.  Exxon is a big player here.

It’s been my opinion that the cost of driving to net-zero carbon usage will be very expensive. It’s debatable whether there is a popular will to pay this bill. Even if by some political tsunami, the Government said that all new cars had to be electric vehicles, it would take 20 years to obsolete the vehicles already on the road.  Bottom line the outsized 5.4% dividend is safe, is probably growing, and in the near future, Exxon and other larger integrated oil and gas companies will probably have very good earnings as the world transitions to less carbon-based energy sources.  Carbon capture technologies may play a growing role and Exxon is an early leader there.  We are buyers on dips with an ear to the shifting winds of sentiment. The oil and gas sector has been a winner this year but it has actually lagged the rise in the price of the underlying commodities of oil and gas. There could be a catch up too.

 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Will W Anthony
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-03  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $61.35 Cost: $613,500
Company: Olin Corp. (OLN)
Olin Corporation manufactures and distributes chemical products in the United States, Europe, and internationally. It operates through three segments: Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls; Epoxy; and Winchester. The Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls segment offer chlorine and caustic soda, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride monomers, methyl chloride, methylene chloride, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen, bleach products, potassium hydroxide, chlorinated organics intermediates, and solvents, and sodium hypochlorite. The Epoxy segment provides epoxy materials and precursors, including aromatics, such as acetone, bisphenol, cumene, and phenol, as well as allyl chloride, epichlorohydrin, and glycerin used for the manufacturers of polymers, resins and other plastic materials, water purification, and pesticides; liquid and solid epoxy resins that are used in adhesives, paints and coatings, composites, and flooring; and converted epoxy resins and additives for use in electrical laminates, paints and coatings, wind blades, electronics, and construction. The Winchester segment offers sporting ammunition products, including shotshells, small caliber centerfire, and rimfire ammunition products for hunters and recreational shooters, and law enforcement agencies; small caliber military ammunition products for use in infantry and mounted weapons; and industrial products comprising gauge loads and powder-actuated tool loads for maintenance applications in power and concrete industries, and powder-actuated tools in the construction industry. The company markets its products through its sales force, as well as directly to various industrial customers, mass merchants, retailers, wholesalers, other distributors, and the U.S. Government and its prime contractors. Olin Corporation was founded in 1892 and is based in Clayton, Missouri.

W. Anthony Will serves as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of CF Industries Holdings Inc., positions he has held since January 2014.  He previously served as Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Distribution from January 2012 to January 2014, Vice President, Manufacturing and Distribution from March 2009 to December 2011, and Vice President, Corporate Development from April 2007 to March 2009.  Prior to joining CF Industries Holdings, Inc., Mr. Will was a partner at Accenture Ltd., Vice President, Business Development at Sears, Roebuck and Company, a consultant for Egon Zehnder International, Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development at Fort James Corporation, a manager at Boston Consulting Group and group leader at Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Opinion: I’m not getting worked up about this director’s purchase. It’s his first as a new director. It’s larger than most perfunctory board member buys but it’s preceded by numerous insider sales.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Listwin Donald J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-10-28 Shares Bought: 15,000 Average Price Paid: $60.00 Cost: $899,993
Company: Calix Inc. (CALX)
Calix, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides cloud and software platforms and systems and services in the United States, the Middle East, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and internationally. The company’s cloud and software platforms and systems and services enable communication service providers (CSPs) to provide a range of services. It provides Calix Cloud platform, a role-based analytics platform comprising Calix Marketing Cloud, Calix Support Cloud, and Calix Operations Cloud, which are configurable to display role-based insights and enable CSPs to anticipate and target new revenue-generating services and applications through the mobile application. The company also offers EXOS, a carrier-class smart home and business operating system that supports residential, business, and mobile subscribers; and AXOS, an operating system for access networks that allows a service provider to deliver all services on a single, elastic, converged access network that is always on, simple to operate, and quick to deploy. It offers its products through its direct sales force and resellers. Calix, Inc. was incorporated in 1999 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

Mr. Listwin was appointed lead independent director in July 2021 and previously served as chairman of our Board from July 2007 until July 2021. Mr. Listwin brings 40 years of experience in the networking industry and significant board, public company executive, and operational experience to our Board. Since January 2018, Mr. Listwin has served as chief executive officer of schema view (doing business as RapidAI), a privately-held medical device company. Mr. Listwin also serves on the board of directors of several privately-held technology companies in the fields of health and medical, software, and electric vehicles. Mr. Listwin founded BelizeKIDS.org in 2016, a non-profit organization focused on helping children in Belize, and Canary Foundation in 2004, a non-profit organization devoted to the early detection of cancer, and has served on the board of directors of both organizations since their inception. From January 2008 to January 2009, Mr. Listwin served as chief executive officer of Sana Security, Inc., a security software company, which was acquired by AVG Technologies.

Opinion: The last purchase by Mr. Listwin was back in February with 20,000 shares at $35.75. It’s a big vote of confidence that he’s buying even a larger amount at $60 per share. This is the kind of insider buy at the top that speaks clearly, business is good, the market knows it and it’s going to stay good or even get better. Calix will be a direct beneficiary of the broadband infrastructure bill that just went to Biden for signing. People can’t get enough broadband and Calix is in a sweet spot.  Calix remains best positioned to benefit from a “massive” U.S. rural broadband build-out “funded by a plethora of subsidy programs.” Calix is Needham analyst Koontz’s top pick in broadband.

Wait for a pullback to mid $60s or lower though before buying, The chart looks very overextended to me.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Davis Richard K
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-10-29 Shares Bought: 1,200 Average Price Paid: $56.26 Cost: $67,518

Name: Fitterling James R
Position: CEO Chairman
Transaction Date: 2021-10-29 Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $56.03 Cost: $280,148
Company: DOW Inc. (DOW)

The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC) is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States, and a subsidiary of Dow Inc. The company is among the three largest chemical producers in the world.[2] Dow manufactures plastics, chemicals, and agricultural products. With a presence in about 160 countries, it employs about 54,000 people worldwide.[1] Dow has been called the “chemical companies’ chemical company”[3] as its sales are to other industries rather than directly to end-use consumers. Dow is a member of the American Chemistry Council. The company tagline is “Seek Together”.[4]

In 2017, the company merged into DowDuPont and in April 2019, the company’s parent, Dow Inc. was separated into a public company via a corporate spin-off.[5][6][7][8]


Davis is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish America. Davis is the former Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Bancorp, the parent company of U.S. Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in the United States. He served as Executive Chairman from December 2007 to April 2018, Chief Executive Officer from December 2006 to April 2017, and held various other executive positions at U.S. Bancorp, including President and Chief Operating Officer. Davis brings global business and leadership experience as a former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of a public company, particularly in industries subject to extensive regulation. He has extensive experience and knowledge of international business operations, financial services, and capital allocation, which is particularly important given the company’s global presence and financial aspects.

Jim Fitterling is the chairman and chief executive officer of Dow, a global materials science company with 2020 sales of $39 billion. He has played a key role in the Company’s transformation, from lower-margin, commodity businesses to one more deeply focused on higher-growth, consumer demand-driven markets that value innovation – to create the most innovative, customer-centric, inclusive, and sustainable materials science company in the world. Fitterling was named chief executive officer-elect of Dow in March 2018, before becoming CEO in July 2018. He was elected chairman in April 2020. Before becoming CEO, he served as president and chief operating officer of Dow.

Opinion: “We continue to see robust end-market demand that is expected to extend into 2022, coupled with near-term logistics constraints and low inventory levels across our value chains,” said Fitterling. “Looking ahead, Dow is well-positioned to increase earnings, cash flow and returns as we decarbonize our footprint and achieve our 2030 and 2050 carbon emissions reduction targets. We will continue to build on our competitive advantage with growth from higher-margin, sustainability-driven, downstream solutions, and value-accretive investments to replace end-of-life assets with carbon-efficient and higher-ROIC production. Dow expects to deliver significant long-term value for shareholders as we continue to apply our balanced capital allocation approach to grow earnings while maintaining our strong operational and financial discipline.”

Let’s keep things in perspective, though.  We love cluster insider buys but the $280k purchase by its CEO is not a full-throated endorsement considering the stock is down from its $70 price high last May.  Dow is a true value play with an outsized dividend that appears safe. It’s a hard company to understand after the merger with Dupont. It’s disappointing to see that management believes that combining the company with Dupont was a good idea only two years into it they decide to undo the whole thing.  Bankers undoubtedly got rich on this one at shareholder’s expense.

 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Davis Barry E
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-10-29 Shares Bought: 10,000  Average Price Paid: $52.88 Cost: $528,818
Company: Kirby Corp. (KEX)
Kirby Corporation operates domestic tank barges in the United States. Its Marine Transportation segment provides marine transportation services and towing vessels transporting bulk liquid products and operates tank barges throughout the Mississippi River System, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, coastwise along three United States coasts and in Alaska and Hawaii. It also transports petrochemicals, black oil, refined petroleum products, and agricultural chemicals by tank barges. It operates offshore dry-bulk barge and tugboat units engaged in the offshore transportation of dry-bulk cargoes in the United States coastal trade. As of December 31, 2020, this segment owned and operated 1,066 inland tank barges with 24.1 million barrels of capacity, 248 inland towboats, 44 coastal tank barges with 4.2 million barrels of capacity, 44 coastal tugboats, four offshore dry-bulk cargo barges, four offshore tugboats, and one docking tugboat. The company’s Distribution and Services segment sell replacement parts; provides service mechanics to overhaul and repair engines, transmissions, reduction gears, and related oilfield services equipment; rebuilds parts or diesel engines, transmissions and reduction gears, and related equipment used in oilfield services, marine, power generation, on-highway, and other industrial applications; rents generators, industrial compressors, railcar movers, and high capacity lift trucks; and manufactures and remanufactures oilfield service equipment, including pressure pumping units. It serves oilfield service, on-highway transportation, marine transportation, commercial fishing, construction, power generation companies, oil and gas operators and producers, and the United States government. The company was formerly known as Kirby Exploration Company, Inc. and changed its name to Kirby Corporation in 1990. Kirby Corporation was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Mr. Davis is the Chairman and CEO of EnLink Midstream, LLC. EnLink Midstream is publicly traded and listed on the NYSE. Mr. Davis served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and director of EnLink Midstream from 2014 to January 2018 and returned to the CEO role in August 2019. Before the formation of EnLink Midstream in 2014 through the combination of Crosstex Energy and substantially all of the United States midstream assets of Devon Energy, Mr. Davis had served since 1996 as President and Chief Executive Officer of Crosstex Energy, as a director of Crosstex Energy since 2002, and in management roles with other companies in the energy industry since 1984. Mr. Davis serves as a member of the Company’s Audit Committee and the Compensation Committee. Davis earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Texas Christian University (TCU) in 1984.

Opinion: The petroleum sector has rallied with the near doubling in the price of crude oil and natural gas but it’s missed Kirby.  Its safe to buy at $52 or sell puts to create a position although I doubt if you’ll see it below $50 in the near term.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Weisler Dion J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-10-26 Shares Bought: 10,351 Average Price Paid: $48.11 Cost: $498,035

Name: Ishrak Omar
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-10-28 Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $48.02 Cost: $960,418

Name: Smith Gregory D
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-10-28 Shares Bought: 10,440 Average Price Paid: $47.96 Cost: $500,652
Company: Intel Corp. (INTC)
IIntel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California. It is the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue and is the developer of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Incorporated in Delaware, Intel ranked No. 45 in the 2020 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for nearly a decade, from 2007 to 2016 fiscal years. Intel Corporation designs manufacture and sells essential technologies for the cloud, smart, and connected devices for retail, industrial, and consumer uses worldwide. The company operates through DCG, IOTG, Mobileye, NSG, PSG, CCG, and All Other segments. It offers platform products, such as central processing units and chipsets, and system-on-chip and multi-chip packages; and non-platform or adjacent products comprising accelerators, boards and systems, connectivity products, and memory and storage products. The company also provides Internet of Things products, including high-performance compute solutions for targeted verticals and embedded applications; and computer vision and machine learning-based sensing, data analysis, localization, mapping, and driving policy technology. It serves original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, and cloud service providers. Intel Corporation has a strategic partnership with MILA to develop and apply advances in artificial intelligence methods for enhancing the search in the space of drugs.

Dion Weisler was elected to Intel’s board of directors as an independent director in June 2020. Weisler is a member of the boards at Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and BHP. From 2015 to 2019, he served as president and chief executive officer of HP Inc., a computer, printer, and related supplies technology company. Weisler also served as a member of HP’s board of directors from 2015 to May 2020. His prior experience includes senior executive roles at HP and Lenovo Group Inc., where he was responsible for various operations in the Asia Pacific and globally. Weisler also served in management positions with Telstra Corp. Ltd., a telecommunications company, and Acer Inc.

Dr. Omar Ishrak was elected to Intel’s board of directors in March 2017 and was named chairman of the board in January 2020. Dr. Ishrak was Executive Chairman of Medtronic plc, a global medical technology company until his retirement in December 2020. Dr. Ishrak served as Chairman and CEO of Medtronic from June 2011 to April 2020. Prior to joining Medtronic, Dr. Ishrak spent 16 years in various roles with General Electric Co., most recently as president and chief executive officer of GE Healthcare Systems, a division of GE Healthcare. Dr. Ishrak is a member of the board of trustees of the Asia Society, which promotes mutual understanding and strengthens partnerships among peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. He is also a member of the Minnesota Public Radio board of trustees.

Gregory D. Smith was elected to Intel’s board of directors as an independent director in March 2017. Mr. Smith was executive vice president of Enterprise Operations and chief financial officer at The Boeing Company, the world’s largest aerospace company and one of the largest U.S. exporters, until his retirement in July 2021. Mr. Smith led Boeing’s Enterprise Operations, Finance, and Strategy organization. In this role, Mr. Smith managed the company’s overall financial activities and drove operational excellence by overseeing the company’s manufacturing, operations, supply chain, quality, and program management functions. Mr. Smith was also responsible for the delivery of enterprise services across the company and oversaw the company’s strengthened focus on sustainability. In addition, Mr. Smith had executive responsibility for the company’s global financing arm Boeing Capital Corporation and oversaw the company’s corporate audit function, which reports directly to the Board of Directors.

Opinion: The semiconductor group has been on a tear. All you hear about in the financial news is that there is a critical shortage of semiconductor chips in the automotive industry and other sectors. Ironically the company most associated with semiconductors has been a big laggard, early 40% worse than the SMH.  At some point, I would expect this gap to narrow. There has been a cluster of insider buying in INTC after its last quarter sell-off on earnings.  That buying has continued and I’m willing to go on the record saying this might mark the cyclical low in INTC. The world is powered by chips and Intel will not be left out of the party forever.

 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Brennan David R
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-01 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $30.15 Cost: $301,500

Name: Engelsen Steinar J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-01 Shares Bought: 14,235 Average Price Paid: $30.14 Cost: $429,043
Company: Insmed Inc. (INSM)
Insmed Incorporated, a biopharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes therapies for patients with serious and rare diseases. The company offers ARIKAYCE for the treatment of Mycobacterium avium complex lung disease as part of a combination antibacterial drug regimen for adult patients. It is also developing Brensocatib, an oral reversible inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase 1 for the treatment of patients with bronchiectasis and other neutrophil-mediated diseases; and Treprostinil Palmitil Inhalation Powder, an inhaled formulation of a treprostinil prodrug treprostinil palmitil for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension and other rare pulmonary disorders. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Insmed is a global biopharmaceutical company on a mission to transform the lives of patients with serious and rare diseases. At Insmed, the needs of patients serve as their compass point when setting priorities for the company and weighing difficult decisions. Their five core values—collaboration, accountability, passion, respect, and integrity—set the tone for their company’s culture and guide the actions they take each day. Insmed’s commitment to patients has no borders. In addition to their global corporate headquarters in Bridgewater, NJ, They have offices throughout Europe and in Japan, with nearly 600 employees who are dedicated to serving the needs of patients and their families. They e are continuing to build Insmed’s global infrastructure and organizational capabilities as we pursue regulatory approvals in multiple regions.

Mr. Brennan joined the board in May 2014, bringing more than 37 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He was appointed lead independent director in November 2018. From 2006 to 2012, Mr. Brennan was the Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca PLC, a global biopharmaceutical company. Previously at AstraZeneca, Mr. Brennan served as Executive Vice President of North America from 2001 to 2006; and as Senior Vice President of Commercialization and Portfolio Management from 1999 to 2001. Mr. Brennan also served as a member of the board of directors of AstraZeneca from 2005 to 2012. Prior to AstraZeneca, Mr. Brennan held various positions at Astra Pharmaceuticals, L.P., Astra Merck, Inc., and Merck and Co. Inc. Mr. Brennan previously served as chairman of the board of directors of Alexion Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by AstraZeneca in July 2021 and previously served as Interim CEO of Alexion from December 2016 to March 2017.

Dr. Engelsen has been a member of the board since our inception in November 1999 and was a director of Insmed Pharmaceuticals, our predecessor entity, from 1998 to 2000. Since 1996, Dr. Engelsen has been a partner of Teknoinvest AS, a venture capital firm based in Norway. In addition, from January to November 2000, Dr. Engelsen was acting as Chief Executive Officer of Centaur Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. From 1989 to 1996, Dr. Engelsen held various management positions within Hafslund Nycomed AS, a pharmaceutical company based in Europe, and its affiliated companies. He also served as Senior Vice President, Research and Development of Nycomed Pharma AS from 1994 until 1996. Dr. Engelsen previously served on the board of Holberg EEG AS, a privately held eHealth company based in Norway. Dr. Engelsen previously served on the board of Soleno, Inc. (Nasdaq: SLNO), a medical device company, until December 2017. Dr. Engelsen holds a Master of Science degree in nuclear chemistry and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Oslo and is a Certified European Financial Analyst.

Opinion: Two long-time board members stepping up with meaningful purchases is about a clear signal as you are going to get. If you get a chance to buy it near what insiders were willing to pay, I think it’s a high probability winner. The Company is not yet profitable and it’s core drug, ARIKAYCE, is not a blockbuster but Morgan Stanley analyst Jeffrey Hung said that though Arikayce faced some headwinds during COVID, there have been “early indications of returning to normal.” He also believes Europe and Japan will be sources of meaningful growth “over time.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Bulls Herman E
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-10-29 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $28.00 Cost: $280,000

Name: Humpton Barbara
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-01 Shares Bought: 4,000 Average Price Paid: $28.00 Cost: $112,000
Company: Fluence Energy Inc. (FLNC)
Fluence Energy, Inc. provides energy storage products and services and digital applications worldwide for renewables and storage applications. The company sells energy storage products with integrated hardware, software, digital intelligence, and engineering and delivery services to support the deployment of its storage products, operational and maintenance, and energy storage-as-a-service, and digital applications and solutions. It serves utilities, developers, and commercial and industrial customers. The company was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Fluence Energy, LLC operates as a subsidiary of Siemens Aktiengesellschaft and The AES Corporation. Fluence is enabling the global clean energy transition with market-leading energy storage products and services and digital applications for renewables and storage. Fluence brings proven energy storage products and services and digital applications for renewables and storage to support the modernization of their energy networks. They are the partner that can deliver globally with the most experienced and knowledgeable team in the world. Fluence is the result of two industry powerhouses and pioneers in energy storage joining together to form a new company dedicated to innovating modern electric infrastructure.

Herman Bulls is the Director of Fluence Energy Inc; He is an experienced real estate, finance, marketing, and operations executive. Herman also has extensive Fortune 500 Board experience. He is also an Effective communicator who brings groups together to solve challenging issues. In 2017, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Herman was named to its list of Directorship honorees, which recognizes the 50 most influential directors in the boardroom.

Humpton Barbara is the Director of Fluence Energy Inc; Barbara Humpton has served as a member of the board of directors since September 2021. She is President and Chief Executive Officer of Siemens Corporation, where, since June 2018, she guides the company’s strategy and engagement in serving the company’s largest market. Previously, Ms. Humpton spent 2015 to 2018 as President and Chief Executive Officer of Siemens Government Technologies, Inc., a leading integrator of Siemens’ products and services for federal government agencies. Prior to joining Siemens in 2011, she served as a Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton where she was responsible for program performance and new business development for technology consulting in the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She has also served as Vice President at Lockheed Martin Corporation, where she was responsible for Biometrics Programs, Border and Transportation Security, and Critical Infrastructure Protection.

Opinion: We’ve been waiting for this spinoff from AES and Siemens.  Utility-scale batteries are essential to the development of a renewable or less carbon-intensive electrical grid. Since this is essentially a new company, we don’t have much in the way of historic financials or comps to go by. This one is a wing and a prayer in a very hot sector. We own it and if it pulls back closer to its IPO price of $28 we would be bigger buyers. Right now you are chasing a somewhat hot IPO with probably not very robust background growth yet.  This is where the proverbial puck is going and you want to be there.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Phelan Kenneth J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-03  Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $15.71 Cost: $314,220
Company: Huntington Bancshares Inc. (HBAN)
Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with $123 billion of assets and a network of 839 branches, including 11 Private Client Group offices, and 1,322 ATMs across seven Midwestern states. Founded in 1866, The Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumer, small business, commercial, treasury management, wealth management, brokerage, trust, and insurance services. Huntington also provides vehicle finance, equipment finance, national settlement, and capital market services that extend beyond its core states. Visit huntington.com for more information.

Mr. Phelan has been a senior advisor for Oliver Wyman, Inc., a global management consulting firm, since 2019. He previously served as the first Chief Risk Officer for the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) from 2014 to 2019. During his time as Chief Risk Officer for the Treasury, he was responsible for establishing and building the Treasury’s Office of Risk Management to provide senior Treasury and other administration officials with analysis of key risks including credit, market, liquidity, operational, governance, and reputational risks. From 2018 to 2019, Mr. Phelan also served as Acting Director for the Office of Financial Research, an independent bureau within the Treasury charged with supporting the Financial Stability Oversight Council and conducting research about systemic risk.

Opinion: We are ignoring this one. There   are more sellers at this price than buyers at HBAN.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Hsieh Anthony Li
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2021-11-03  Shares Bought: 1,295,021 Average Price Paid: $6.74
Company: loanDepot Inc. (LDI)
The company was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California. loanDepot, Inc. engages in the origination and servicing of conventional and government mortgage loans in the United States. It offers conventional agency-conforming and prime jumbo, home equity, Federal Housing Administration, and VA loans. The company also provides settlement services, including captive title and escrow business; real estate co-operations that cover captive real estate referral business; and insurance co-operations, including services to homeowners and other consumer insurance policies. It offers mortgage loans to borrowers and in the secondary market. They had previously founded mortgage companies LoansDirect.com, which he sold to E*Trade, and HomeLoanCenter.com, which he sold to LendingTree. The company’s products at the time included fixed rate, jumbo, FHA, and home equity loans, in addition to more controversial adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) and negative amortization products. In November 2015, the company postponed a planned IPO, citing poor market conditions.  In March 2017, the company introduced technology to automate the loan process, allowing customers to apply for a mortgage without talking to a loan officer.  In January 2018, the company announced two products as part of its technology platform, called Mello, a home improvement unit to allow contractors to extend finance to customers, and Mello Home, a platform to connect pre-approved buyers realtors.

Anthony Hsieh is the CEO and Chairman of loanDepot, the second-largest nonbank consumer lender and top 5 retail mortgage lender. · In 7 years, with Hsieh at the helm, loanDepot has funded $100 billion in loans, and today the company drives over $1 billion in annual revenues. Hsieh has built loanDepot into a national powerhouse lender employing 6,000 people across the country, including 1,700 licensed loan officers, with operations from 8 tech-enabled business centers and 180 local lending stores. Anthony Hsieh remains one of the lending’s most prominent and respected leaders who has successfully led and navigated his companies through multiple credit cycles spanning 30 years.  Hsieh launched loanDepot in 2010 using an innovative tech-enabled marketing platform engineered to dissolve the lines between mortgage and nonmortgage credit products.

Opinion:  Do I think it’s cool that he has purchased the most expensive home in Las Vegas while his stock makes new lows?  Call me old-fashioned but blatant displays of wealth are especially vulgar when your stock is making new lows. Will a large buy like this cause a pop in the stock? Definitely, as it was reported Friday after the close. We’ll put in an order for under $7.25 but I doubt we get filled. Expect a fast trip to $8 then sell if you get lucky on this swing trade.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Lore Marc E
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-11-01 Shares Bought: 482,342 Average Price Paid: $6.50 Cost: $3,136,082
Company: Archer Aviation Inc. (ACHR)
Archer is an aerospace company building an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft focused on improving mobility in cities. The company’s mission is to advance the benefits of sustainable air mobility. Archer is designing, manufacturing, and operating a fully electric aircraft that can carry four passengers for 60 miles at speeds of up to 150mph while producing minimal noise. Archer’s team is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Archer’s mission is to advance the benefits of sustainable air mobility. With headquarters in Palo Alto, California, Archer is creating the world’s first electric airline that moves people throughout cities in a quick, safe, sustainable, and cost-effective manner. As the world’s only vertically integrated airline company, Archer’s world-class team focuses on vertically integrating key enabling technologies, including aircraft design, electric powertrain, and flight control software to revolutionize air travel.

Marc was previously the Chief Operating Officer of Wizkids, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Topps Company, Inc. (NASD: TOPP) and a leading game manufacturer. Before joining Wizkids, Marc was the co-founder and CEO of The Pit, Inc., an Internet market-making collectible company constructed as an alternative to eBay. The Pit, Inc. was successfully sold to the then publicly traded Topps Company in 2001. Lore is the lead investor in Archer Aviation, an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company focused on advancing the benefits of sustainable air mobility. In February 2021, Archer announced Lore would be investing an additional $10 million as the company announced their $1 billion purchase order from United Airlines and a SPAC.

Opinion:  We wrote extensively on Archer Aviation last week, Marc Lore gets high on his own supply of Archer Aviation.  We love the whole EVTOL space. It’s the next big thing but I have no idea how you will make money it. We’ve taken a small position in several of the names.  The low-risk play is VTOL where Bristow has put in a large order for Embraer’s EVE EVTOL planes. I don’t see Bristow expanding beyond the offshore oil and gas industry but you know they must be thinking they are in a unique position to do so.  Watch VTOL carefully for insider buying. That will likely be the signal that something bigger is in the works.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Rowe Michael M
Position: COO
Transaction Date: 2021-10-27  Shares Bought: 1,200 Average Price Paid: $4.14 Cost: $4,968

Name: Grant Stuart M
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-10-29  Shares Bought: 133,806 Average Price Paid: $4.00 Cost: $535,224

Name: Grant Stuart M
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2021-10-29  Shares Bought: 15,505 Average Price Paid: $3.75 Cost: $58,140

Name: Mather Charles E
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-11-01  Shares Bought: 4,000 Average Price Paid: $3.83 Cost: $15,314
Company: Eyenovia Inc. (NASDAQ: EYEN) is an ophthalmic pharmaceutical technology company developing a pipeline of microdose array print (MAP) therapeutics. Eyenovia is currently focused on the late-stage development of microdosed medications for mydriasis, presbyopia and myopia progression.

The company’s product candidates in the pipeline include MicroLine, which is in Phase III clinical development program with indications for the improvement in near vision in people with presbyopia; MicroPine, which is in Phase III clinical development program with indications for pediatric myopia progression (near-sightedness); and MydCombi, which is in Phase III clinical development program with indications for pharmaceutical mydriasis. It has a license agreement with Bausch Health Ireland Limited to develop and commercialize MicroPine in the United States and Canada, and a license agreement with Arctic Vision (Hong Kong) Limited to develop and commercialize MicroPine and MicroLine in China and South Korea. The company was formerly known as PGP Holdings V, Inc. and changed its name to Eyenovia, Inc. in May 2014. Eyenovia, Inc. was incorporated in 2014 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Mr. Rowe has served as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer since January 2021, having first joined the Company in July 2018 as Vice President, Marketing. From February 2016 to June 2018, Mr. Rowe was Senior Director of U.S. and Global Marketing, Ophthalmology at Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AERI), where he was responsible for the United States and international commercialization of glaucoma and ocular hypertension products. From July 2010 until February 2016, Mr. Rowe served in various strategic management roles at Allergan plc (since acquired by AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV)), most recently as the Head of Corporate Competitive Intelligence, where he supported multiple corporate strategic initiatives as well as strategic planning for the company’s worldwide glaucoma franchise.  Mr. Rowe also has held senior marketing roles at Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., Women First HealthCare, Inc. (a former public company), and senior marketing and health economics roles at Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE).

Stuart has made over 11 trades of the Eyenovia Inc stock since 2019, according to the Form 4 filed with the SEC. Most recently Stuart bought 15,505 units of EYEN stock worth $58,144 on 29 October 2021. The largest trade Stuart’s ever made was buying 903,240 units of Eyenovia Inc stock on 23 March 2020 worth over $1,860,674. On average, Stuart trades about 210,293 units every 69 days since 2019. As of 29 October, 2021 Stuart still owns at least  4,539,094 units of Eyenovia Inc stock.

Mr. Mather has been a member of the Board of Directors since March 2018. Since October 2019, Mr. Mather has been Managing Director, Equity Capital Markets at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc. Prior to that, since March 2015, Mr. Mather has been Managing Director, Co-Head of Equity Capital Markets at BTIG, LLC. From December 2009 to February 2015, he was the Head of Private and Alternative Capital and Co-Head of Equity Capital Markets at Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC. Between May 2007 and September 2008, Mr. Mather was the head of the Structured Equity Group at Jefferies Group Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Mather held various senior investment banking positions at Cowen and Company, including as Co-Head of the Private Equity Group.

Opinion: The stock crashed on October 25th after Eyenovia announced that MydCombi, the company’s proprietary combination microdose formulation of tropicamide and phenylephrine for in-office pupil dilation, has been reclassified as a drug-device combination product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a Complete Response Letter for the company’s new drug application received on October 22, 2021.

The Company says that they were not totally surprised by this in a press release dated the same. We are patient buyers but these small-cap biotechs haven’t been rewarding for us as CASA and MBIO are examples we are underwater in.  See below:

NEW YORK—October 25, 2021—Eyenovia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYEN), an ophthalmic pharmaceutical technology company developing a pipeline of microdose array print (MAP™) therapeutics, today announced that MydCombi, the company’s proprietary, first-in-class combination microdose formulation of tropicamide and phenylephrine for in-office pupil dilation, has been reclassified as a drug-device combination product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a Complete Response Letter (CRL) for the company’s new drug application (NDA) received on October 22, 2021. 

Eyenovia will provide additional information to the FDA, as requested in the CRL, as soon as possible, including information necessary to meet additional requirements under Genus Medical Technologies, LLC v. FDA. Genus refers to a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which has resulted in an agency-wide reclassification by FDA of certain drugs to devices or to drug-device combination products. There were no issues raised related to the phase III clinical program for MydCombi. 

“While we were surprised by the FDA’s position in the CRL, given our original FDA designation, we understand the unusual situation created by the impact of the Genus case, which compelled an Agency-wide reclassification,” stated Dr. Sean Ianchulev, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer of Eyenovia. “Fortunately, we had taken actions throughout the development of MydCombi to minimize the impact of a potential reclassification by the FDA. We are preparing additional documentation requested by the FDA and look forward to resubmitting our NDA in early 2022 for the FDA’s review. Since the device used for MydCombi has commonality with that used in the MicroLine and MicroPine programs, we believe that the information submitted in support of MydCombi will pave the way in advance of those regulatory submissions. In fact, we are on track to initiate our second Phase III MicroLine study for presbyopia in the coming days.” 

The Company’s current total pro forma cash balance is approximately $30.7 million after the sale of approximately 1.8 million shares of common stock earlier this quarter through the Company’s At The Market offering facility. The Company believes its total unrestricted and restricted cash balance will be sufficient for the resubmission of the NDA for MydCombi, completion of the MicroLine clinical program and other planned activities through the beginning of 2023. 

Eyenovia announced FDA acceptance of the MydCombi NDA in March 2021. The NDA was based on the MIST-1 and MIST-2 studies. In these two Phase 3 studies, a fixed combination of micro-dosed tropicamide 1% and phenylephrine 2.5% ophthalmic solution met the studies’ primary endpoints and was shown to be well-tolerated and effective for pharmacologic mydriasis. Approximately 94% of treated eyes achieved 6mm or greater dilation at 35 minutes post-instillation. Adverse events were infrequent, with fewer than 1% of patients reporting blurred vision, reduced acuity, photophobia or instillation site pain. 

 


 

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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