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.

During the last week of the year, there was very little insider trading. This is of course to be expected as companies are in the quiet period before earnings are released.   There is another explanation for this though.  There just isn’t much worth buying.  With rates at all-time lows, stocks at all-time highs, real estate off the charts, perhaps the place to look for bargains are not in the U.S stock market.  Maybe my point of view is slanted as I spent the last two weeks working in Cabo San Lucas, where the weather was perfect, the cost of living half the U.S., and Americans flocking down there to live and play.  Building and construction were on fire, everywhere.   The Mexicans are struggling to get into the U.S while Americans are flocking to Mexico.  We talk about the hybrid work model where people can live and work remotely.  Cabo looks like a great choice and it’s going to grow.   Maybe its time to look abroad but one thing’s for sure, not all emerging markets are the same.

Finviz Chart

Name: Danhakl John G
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-12-22  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $272.93 Cost: $2,729,300
Company: Iqvia Holdings Inc. (IQV)
IQVIA Holdings Inc. provides advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services to the life sciences industry in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific. It operates through three segments: Technology & Analytics Solutions, Research & Development Solutions, and Contract Sales & Medical Solutions. The Technology & Analytics Solutions segment offers a range of cloud-based applications and related implementation services; real-world solutions that enable life sciences and provider customers to generate and disseminate evidence, which informs health care decision making and improves patients’ outcomes; and strategic and implementation consulting services, such as advanced analytics and commercial processes outsourcing services. This segment also provides country-level performance metrics related to sales of pharmaceutical products, prescribing trends, medical treatment, and promotional activity across various channels, including retail, hospital, and mail order; and measurement of sales or prescribing activity at the regional, zip code, and individual prescriber level. The Research & Development Solutions segment offers project management and clinical monitoring; clinical trial support; virtual trials; and strategic planning and design services, as well as central laboratory, genomic, bioanalytical, ADME, discovery, and vaccine and biomarker laboratory services. The Contract Sales & Medical Solutions segment provides health care provider and patient engagement services, and scientific strategy and medical affairs services. It serves pharmaceutical, biotechnology, device and diagnostic, and consumer health companies. IQVIA has a strategic collaboration with HealthCore, Inc. The company was formerly known as Quintiles IMS Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to IQVIA Holdings Inc. in November 2017. IQVIA Holdings Inc. was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina.

John G. Danhakl has served as a director of IQVIA since October 2016. Prior to this, Mr. Danhakl served as a Director of IMS Health from February 2010 until October 2016. He is a Managing Partner at LGP, which he joined in 1995. Previously, Mr. Danhakl was a Managing Director of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation, which he joined in 1990. From 1985 until 1990, he was a Vice President in corporate finance at Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc. Mr. Danhakl currently serves on the boards of directors of the following publicly-traded companies: Savers, Inc., J. Crew Group, Inc., Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., and Arden Group, Inc. He previously served as a director of Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation, Communications & Power Industries, Diamond Triumph Auto Glass, Inc., Liberty Group Publishing, Inc., MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc., Phoenix Scientific, Inc., Rite Aid Corporation, VCA Antech, Inc., Air Lease Corporation and The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc.

Opinion: Danhakl is a billionaire that has sold over $442 Million worth of combined IQVIA Holdings and Quiniels IMA Holdings since 2017 so I can’t get too excited about $14 million of potential window dressing buys.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Lippert Jason
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-12-27  Shares Bought: 10,450 Average Price Paid: $25.20 Cost: $263,368
Company: Quanex Building Products CORP. (NX)
Quanex Building Products Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides components for the fenestration industry in the United States, Europe, Canada, Asia, and internationally. The company operates through three segments: North American Fenestration, European Fenestration, and North American Cabinet Components. It offers flexible insulating glass spacers, extruded vinyl profiles, window and door screens, and precision-formed metal and wood products, as well as cabinet doors and other components for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the kitchen and bathroom cabinet industry. The company also provides various non-fenestration components and products, including solar panel sealants, trim moldings, vinyl decking, fencing, water retention barriers, and conservatory roof components. It sells its products to OEMs in the building products industry through sales representatives, direct sales force, distributors, and independent sales agents. The company was founded in 1927 and is based in Houston, Texas.  At Quanex Building Products, their customer’s success is their priority. Whether seeking a special component to bring a new product to market, technical support to make a production process more efficient, or creative marketing support to drive awareness, They have the knowledge base and experience to lead the largest and smallest providers to success. With unparalleled expertise in energy efficiency and sustainability standards, integrated systems design and product development, marketing, production equipment, and processes, They enhance the value their customers can offer to their customers. Quanex works hard to listen to customers and anticipate future needs. Their vision is to be the supplier of choice in the markets they serve and they are committed to Building Strength in their people, systems, and processes.

Jason D. Lippert serves as President, Director of the Company. Mr. Lippert, 47, has been a member of our Board of Directors since 2007. Mr. Lippert became Chief Executive Officer of the Company in May 2013, was appointed President of the Company in May 2019, and has been Chief Executive Officer of Lippert Components, Inc. since February 2003. Mr. Lippert has over 20 years of experience with the Company and its subsidiaries and has served in a wide range of leadership positions. Mr. Lippert has particular knowledge of the industries and customers to which we sell our products, as well as extensive experience with strategic planning, acquisitions, marketing, manufacturing, and sale of our products.

Opinion:  The building industries are strong and Quanex is getting stronger. On December 16th the Company reported Q4 revenue $291.77M, consensus $278.23M. “Our liquidity position has improved meaningfully over the past year, and our balance sheet is strong. We were able to pay down $65 million of bank debt in fiscal 2021, and we are very close to being net debt-free. We are focused on closing the valuation gap that currently exists between us and our peers. As such, the Board has authorized a new $75 million share repurchase program, which reflects our strong balance sheet, commitment to returning capital to shareholders, and overall confidence in the ability of the Company to continue to grow and create value for shareholders over time.”

Although not large purchases several other insiders are purchasing shares.  We are buyers here as well.

Finviz Chart

Name: Daniels Ronald J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-12-28  Shares Bought: 22,147 Average Price Paid: $13.49 Cost: $298,679
Company: BridgeBio Pharma Inc. (BBIO)
BridgeBio Pharma, Inc. engages in the discovery, development, and delivery of various medicines for genetic diseases. The company has a pipeline of 30 development programs that include product candidates ranging from early discovery to late-stage development. Its products in development programs include BBP-265, a small molecule stabilizer of transthyretin, or TTR, that is in an ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of TTR amyloidosis-cardiomyopathy or ATTR-CM; BBP-831, a small molecule selective FGFR1-3 inhibitor which is an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of achondroplasia in pediatric patients; and AAV5 gene transfer product candidate for the treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, or CAH, driven by 21-hydroxylase deficiency, or 21OHD; and Encaleret, a small molecule antagonist of the calcium-sensing receptor, or CaSR, an ongoing phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical trial for Autosomal Dominant Hypocalcemia Type 1, or ADH1. The company also engages in developing products for Mendelian, genetic dermatology, oncology, and gene therapy diseases. BridgeBio Pharma, Inc. has license and collaboration agreements with the Leland Stanford Junior University; The Regents of the University of California; Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.; the University of California, San Diego; Johns Hopkins University and the University of Florida; University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus; Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Maze Therapeutics; UC San Francisco; the Canadian Glycomics Network (GlycoNet); the University of California; Columbia University; Mount Sinai; and Helsinn Group, as well as a clinical collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb to evaluate the combination of BBP-398. It also has a research collaboration and option agreement with Unnatural Products Inc. to target rare diseases with potential oncology applications. The company was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

Ronald J. Daniels has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2020. Mr. Daniels has been the president of Johns Hopkins University since March 2009. He is a member of the Board of Managers of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and the chair of the Executive Committee of Johns Hopkins Health System. A law and economics scholar, Mr. Daniels is the author or editor of seven books and dozens of scholarly articles. Before joining Johns Hopkins University, he served as Provost and a Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and Dean and James M. Tory Professor of Law of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. Mr. Daniels earned an L.L.M. from Yale University in 1988 and a J.D. in 1986 from the University of Toronto. He received a B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1982 in political science and economics. Mr. Daniels’ qualifications to serve on our Board of Directors include his extensive experience as a professor and now a leader at one of the world’s premier science institutions.

Opinion:  Bridge BioPharma does what biotechs do.  Makes spectacular drops on bad trial news and rips on good news,  In this case, Bridge Bio has many levers to pull. Several analysts from BofA, Goldman, JP Morgan, and others see the value, not just Director Daniels. What’s really curious by this purchase of 22,1247 shares at $13.49 is that it is is accompanied by a sale of 11,745 shares that represent short swing profits disgorged back to the company.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Venkatesan Jay
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2021-12-27  Shares Bought: 277,244 Average Price Paid: $2.63 Cost: $730,373
Company: Angion Biomedica Corp. (ANGN)
Angion Biomedica Corp., a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of small molecule therapeutics for acute organ injuries and fibrotic diseases. The company’s lead product candidate is ANG-3777, a hepatocyte growth factor mimetic for acute kidney injury, acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, central nervous system injuries, and heart injuries. It also develops ANG-3070, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor and rho kinase 2 inhibitors for fibrotic diseases; and CYP11B2, an aldosterone synthase inhibitor for aldosterone-related fibrotic diseases. The company was incorporated in 1998 and is based in Uniondale, New York. The Angion team is dedicated to bringing new therapeutic options to patients. Their initial focus is acute kidney injury and acute lung injury, where there are currently no pharmacologic therapies available, and chronic fibrotic conditions in the lung and kidney where effective treatments with more limited off-target toxicities are needed. They are a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel small molecule therapeutics to address acute organ injuries and fibrotic diseases. Their goal is to transform the treatment paradigm for patients suffering from these potentially life-threatening conditions for which there are no approved medicines or where existing approved medicines have limitations. Their lead product candidate, ANG-3777, is a hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) mimetic currently being evaluated in multiple acute organ injuries and related indications, including acute kidney injury (AKI) and injuries to other major organs, such as the lungs, central nervous system (CNS) and heart. Within AKI, They are currently evaluating ANG-3777’s ability to improve kidney function and reduce the severity of transplant-associated AKI, also known as delayed graft function, in patients at risk for kidney dysfunction, as well as for the treatment of AKI associated with cardiac surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass. They are also evaluating ANG-3777 for indications within acute lung injury, as well as acute CNS injuries. They are advancing multiple programs for the treatment of fibrotic diseases, leading with ANG-3070, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), and their inhibitor of rho kinase 2 (ROCK2). They also continue to develop other preclinical product candidates, including their CYP11B2 aldosterone synthase inhibitors, which they are investigating for the purpose of targeting aldosterone-related fibrotic diseases.

Prior to Angion, Dr. Venkatesan served as President and Director of Alpine Immune Sciences (ALPN), which he co-founded as a Managing Partner of Alpine BioVentures. Previously, Dr. Venkatesan was the founder and portfolio manager of Ayer Capital, a global healthcare fund. Prior to that, he served as a director at Brookside Capital, part of Bain Capital, where he co-managed healthcare investments. He was also a consultant at McKinsey & Co. and a venture investor with Patricof & Co. Ventures (now Apax Partners). He received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and his B.A. from Williams College.

Opinion:   Same story, different name. Let’s just say it’s been a very bad year for small-cap biotech. Angion Biomedica (ANGN) and Vifor Pharma (GNHAF) announced results from the exploratory Phase 2 GUARD trial of Angion’s ANG-3777 in patients undergoing cardiac surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass at risk for developing acute kidney injury, or CSA-AKI. The trial did not meet its primary endpoint of percentage increase in serum creatinine based upon the area under the curve, or AUC. However, Angion and Vifor Pharma continue to review the data based on the signal demonstrated in the clinically relevant MAKE90 secondary endpoint.

 


 

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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