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.

Russia with 100,000 battle-hardened troops poised to invade Ukraine, the price of crude oil making new highs, and China banning all inbound flights from the U.S right before the Winter Games because of soaring Covid infections, the Fed stating unequivocally they would hike rates more aggressively if needed- and the market only down 2% for the month. Wow- that’s a strong stock market. For how long is anyone’s guess.

The blackout period before earnings is always a time of little insider buying but because of the flagrant abuse of the SEC Rule 10b5-1 loophole, there is always selling. And lots of it, too.

Finviz Chart

Name: Springer Daniel D
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-01-10  Shares Bought: 18,700 Average Price Paid: $128.89 Cost: $2,410,267
Company: Docusign Inc. (DOCU)
DocuSign, Inc. provides cloud-based software in the United States and internationally. The company provides an e-signature solution that enables businesses to digitally prepare, sign, act on, and manage agreements. It also offers CLM, which automates workflows across the entire agreement process; Insights that use artificial intelligence (AI) to search and analyze agreements by legal concepts and clauses; Gen for Salesforce, which allows sales representatives to automatically generate agreements with a few clicks from within Salesforce; Negotiate for Salesforce that supports for approvals, document comparisons, and version control; Analyzer, which helps customers understand what they’re signing before they sign it; and CLM+ that provide AI-driven contract lifecycle management. The company provides Guided Forms, which enable complex forms to be filled via an interactive and step-by-step process; Click that supports no-signature-required agreements for standard terms and consents; Identify, a signer-identification option for checking government-issued IDs; Standards-Based Signatures, which support signatures that involve digital certificates; Payments that enables customers to collect signatures and payment; and eNotary, which offers the ability to execute electronic notarial acts. It offers industry-specific cloud offerings, including Rooms for Real Estate that provides a way for brokers and agents to manage the entire real estate transaction digitally; Rooms for Mortgage, which offers digital workspace to create and close mortgages; FedRAMP, an authorized version of DocuSign eSignature for U.S. federal government agencies; and life sciences modules that support compliance with the electronic signature practices. The company sells its products through direct, partner-assisted, and Web-based sales. It serves enterprises, commercial, and small businesses. The company was incorporated in 2003 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Daniel D. Springer serves as President, Chief Executive Officer, Director of the Company.  He has served as our Chief Executive Officer, President, and member of the Board since January 2017. From May 2015 to January 2017, he served as an Operating Partner at Advent International Corp., a private equity investment firm. From March 2004 to March 2014, Mr. Springer served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Responsys, Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTG), a marketing software company that was acquired by Oracle Corp. in 2014. Prior to joining Responsys, Inc., Mr. Springer served as the Managing Director of Modem Media, Inc., a marketing strategy and services firm, the Chief Executive Officer of Telleo, Inc.

Opinion: DocuSign has become that rare company that’s now part of the vernacular, used as a verb- Just Docusign it. The chart looks horrible and the company barely makes money, but it is cash flow positive with plenty of cash in the bank. At one time the market thought that Adobe would be a serious competitor but they’re not. DocuSign owns this critical franchise of the digital age.  Companies at scale can improve margins. The fact that the CEO is buying is a big statement.

I might be able to talk to Mr. Springer because our paths may have intersected-his former employer, Modem Media was awarded the contract for  AT&T’s first website. They did the web broadcast of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. My company, HomeCom Communications, which I founded and brought public in 1997, did the actual work under contract to Modem Media.  HomeCom Communications did the first actual live Internet broadcast of the Olympics. I was fortunate enough to hire away from Emory University in the early days, of the Internet when no one even knew how to reboot a Unix server, George (Gia) our Chief Technology Officer, and Nina Bokuchava, both Ph.D.’s one in Physics and the other in Computer Science. They and other members of the team pulled off this remarkable piece of engineering.  They now run a highly successful hosting/stream service called Tulix.com.

An interesting aside -this was the site near the bombing that Richard Jules was falsely accused of.  Clint Eastwood made a movie, Richard Jewel, released in 2019 about this historic event. The FBI was in our office the next day wanting to see if we had any digital feed of the event.  Space on computers was so expensive back then that we had written a cron job to delete video to save space on the server so the FBI came up empty.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Moskovitz Dustin A
Position: CEO Chairman 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-01-07 Shares Bought: 750,000 Average Price Paid: $60.65 Cost: $45,489,978
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: Asana is almost the opposite of DocuSign. Asana could become the dominant team management cloud software business but it’s got some fierce entrenched competition from SalesForce to Microsoft, not to mention Google’s highly successful workspace which we live on at Alpha Wealth Funds. Asana may have a better product now but that’s never stopped Google, Salesforce, and certainly not Microsoft.  But most importantly I don’t understand why Mr. Moskovitz is buying. I’ve blogged repeated about this as he is spending more money buying his own Company’s stock than any insider out there. I understand as co-founder of Facebook, he has lots of money.  But why is he buying the stock at this price when he sold shares to the public in December last year in the $30s.

Certainly, the financial metrics of Asana and Docusign are both getting better. The precipitous near-identical drops in share price are clearly the product of market sentiment change and not financial performance.  Asana has an enterprise value of $5.87 Billion versus Docusign’s $25.27 Billion.  We own both of these remarkable companies at The Insiders Fund but not large positions.  Old School Value software shows a DCF value for DocuSign of $179.18 versus -$8.02. This is a product of ASAN just turning cash flow positive in the last quarter versus DocuSign’s multiple quarters.  Business looks great at both companies but DocuSign is a verb.  Always buy the verbs.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Clemmer James C
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-01-11  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $22.84 Cost: $228,400
Company: Angiodynamics Inc. (ANGO)
AngioDynamics, Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells various medical, surgical, and diagnostic devices used by professional healthcare providers for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease and vascular access; and for use in oncology and surgical settings in the United States and internationally. The company provides NanoKnife ablation systems for the surgical ablation of soft tissues; solero microwave tissue ablation systems; and radiofrequency ablation products for ablating solid cancerous or benign tumors. It also offers BioSentry tract sealant systems, IsoLoc Endorectal Balloon’s, alatus vaginal balloon packing systems, angiographic catheters, guidewires, percutaneous drainage catheters, and coaxial micro-introducer kits. In addition, the company provides vascular interventions and therapies products in the areas of thrombus management, atherectomy, peripheral products (Core), and venous insufficiency. Additionally, the company offers peripherally inserted central catheters, midline catheters, implantable ports, dialysis catheters, and related accessories and supplies that are used primarily to deliver short-term drug therapies, such as chemotherapeutic agents and antibiotics, into the central venous system under the BioFlo, BioFlo Midline, BioFlo PICC, Xcela PICC, PASV, BioFlo Port, SmartPort, Vortex, LifeGuard, BioFlo DuraMax, and DuraMax names. It sells and markets its products to interventional radiologists, interventional cardiologists, vascular surgeons, urologists, interventional and surgical oncologists, and critical care nurses directly, as well as through distributor relationships. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Latham, New York.

Jim Clemmer became the President and Chief Executive Officer in April 2016. Prior to joining AngioDynamics, Mr. Clemmer served as President of the $1.8 billion medical supplies segment at Covidien plc. where he directed the strategic and day-to-day operations for global business divisions that collectively manufactured 23 different product categories. In addition, he managed global manufacturing, research and development, operational excellence, business development, and all other functions associated with the medical supplies business. Prior to his role at Covidien, Mr. Clemmer served as Group President at Kendall Healthcare, where he managed the U.S. business across five divisions and built the strategic plan for the medical supplies segment before it was spun off from Tyco. Mr. Clemmer began his career at Sage Products, Inc. Mr. Clemmer currently serves on the Board of Directors for AngioDynamics and Lantheus Medical Imaging. Mr. Clemmer is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where he served as interim president from August 2015 until March 1, 2016.

Opinion: On January 6th ANGO dropped its earnings forecast, “The Company continues to expect its fiscal year 2022 net sales to be in the range of $310 to $315 million. Gross margin is now expected to be in the range of 52.0% to 54.0%, a decrease from the Company’s prior guidance of 55.0%, as headwinds persist regarding labor shortages and inflationary pressures on raw materials and transportation. Due to the macroeconomic pressures on gross margin, as discussed above, the Company now expects adjusted earnings per share in the range of a loss of $0.02 to a gain of $0.02, below its prior guidance of a range of $0.00 to $0.05.”

This is a fix and turnaround situation which I’m not very enthusiastic about. We own a small amount, just trading on the potential insider bounce which is not likely to happen in this market.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Masood Rafeh
Position: Evp Chief Customer Officer
Transaction Date: 2022-01-07  Shares Bought: 7,000 Average Price Paid: $14.00 Cost: $98,000

Name: Schechter Joshua
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-01-07  Shares Bought: 6,000 Average Price Paid: $13.86 Cost: $83,160

Name: Arnal Gustavot
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2022-01-07  Shares Bought: 15,000 Average Price Paid: $13.81 Cost: $207,150

Name: Hartsig Joseph G
Position: EVP CHIEF MERCHANDISING OFC
Transaction Date: 2022-01-07  Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $13.78 Cost: $68,900
Company: Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY)
Bed Bath & Beyond’s culture is customer-centric. Their commitment to customer service is supported by significant investments made to strengthen its foundation for future growth. Today, their eCommerce businesses are rapidly growing to meet their customer’s ever-evolving needs. They strive to better engage with their customers wherever, and however, they express their life interests and travel through their life stages. They also recognize that they are people-powered and continuously strive to foster a culture that supports diversity and equity of all types. They are listening and constantly evolving, with concrete goals to create an ever more equitable, inclusive work environment where all their people feel at home and thrive. Bed Bath & Beyond’s family of companies has contributed to their evolution. As they continue to expand, differentiating themselves across all channels, brands, and locations in which they operate, they can better serve their customers. Today, their 40,000+ associates support over 1000+ retail locations, “Business-to-Business” operations, and online destinations for products, solutions, and services. They currently operate in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates a chain of retail stores. It operates through two segments, North American Retail and Institutional Sales. The company sells a range of domestic merchandise, including bed linens and related items, bath items, kitchen textiles; and home furnishings, such as kitchen and tabletop items, fine tabletop, basic housewares, general home furnishings, consumables, and various juvenile products. As of February 27, 2021, the company had 1,020 stores, including 834 Bed Bath & Beyond stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada; 132 buybuy BABY stores; and 54 stores under the names Harmon, Harmon Face Values or Face Values. It also offers products through various Websites and applications.

Mr. Masood joins the Company from BJ’s Wholesale Club, where he was responsible for driving end-to-end digital strategy and vision for the company’s e-commerce and omni-channel efforts. Prior to BJ’s, he was Vice President, Customer Innovation Technology at Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Vice President, Integrated Retail Solutions and Technology at Sears Holdings. RIS magazine named Masood as one of the “Top 10 Movers and Shakers” in retail in 2017 and a “Pacesetter” in retail technology in 2012.

Joshua E. Schechter, age 46, is a private investor and public company director. Mr. Schechter has also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of SunWorks, Inc., a premier provider of high-performance solar power solutions, since May 2018 and as a director since April 2018, and as a director of Viad Corp, an S&P SmallCap 600 international experiential services company, since April 2015, and a director of Support.com, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based software and services, since June 2016. From 2001 to June 2013, Mr. Schechter served as Managing Director of Steel Partners Ltd., a privately-owned hedge fund sponsor, and from 2008 to June 2013, Mr. Schechter served as co-President of Steel Partners Japan Asset Management, LP, a private company offering investment services.

Mr. Arnal joins the Company from Avon, a leading direct-selling beauty company where he helped lead a successful business turnaround effort. Prior to Avon, Mr. Arnal was CFO, International Divisions and Global Functions at Walgreens Boots Alliance. He is a global leader, with experience leading teams across the US, EMEA, APAC, and LATAM, and has previously served in senior positions at Procter & Gamble, including CFO of India, the Middle East and Africa, CFO Global Fabric, and Home Care, and CFO Global Personal Beauty.

Mr. Hartsig has more than 30 years of experience in consumer brand development and retail merchandising, including most recently as Senior Vice President & Chief Merchandising Officer at Walgreens, where he managed the front of store Retail Products division and drove transformational change. He was responsible for a team of over 500 merchandising, planning and field team employees across a variety of categories, in addition to leading the owned brand organization and e-commerce and digital merchandising strategies to advance the company’s omni-channel capabilities. He has previously been a senior leader at some of the world’s largest and best-known consumer brands, including Walmart, Motorola, and SC Johnson. Joe currently serves on the board of directors for both Acosta, Inc., a leading national sales and marketing agency, as well as Boys Hope Girls Hope, a non-profit organization helping provide education and housing to underprivileged students.

Opinion: Lot’s of buying here and the best performing insider buy of the week, up 10-12% for the week. Owning Bed Bath Beyond is exhausting. I’ve made great money swing trading it the last year or so but it seems like the safe holding period is being reduced from days to minutes.

 


 

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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