Curious how well insiders are doing with their buys? Scroll through the significant buys of the last year.

The bear case continues to grow as interest rates resume their relentless rise. The war in Ukraine drags on with Russia pummeling Ukraine in a war Putin cannot afford to lose and cannot win.  The U.S and the West cannot afford to lose either as billions and prestige are at stake.  It’s a dangerous situation with an unpredictable outcome when neither party can afford to lose.

China doubles down on its zero Covid policy threatening to drag its economy into a recession and shutting down the factory to the world.

The S&P 500 has its longest losing weekly streak in a decade as market volatility plays havoc with investors’ psyche.

The few buys that attracted our attention are outlined below. There are some takeaways here that are important.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Hogan Joseph M
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-05-04 Shares Bought: 6,700 Average Price Paid: $298.48 Cost: $1,999,842.00
Company: Align Technology Inc (ALGN)
Align Technology, Inc. creates, manufactures, and sells the Invisalign system, which is used to correct malocclusion or tooth misalignment. Invisalign corrects malocclusion by gently moving teeth into the desired ultimate position with a set of clear, practically invisible, removable appliances. Invisalign Full is a treatment for a variety of malocclusions; Invisalign Express is a solution for less complex orthodontic cases; Invisalign Teen is a treatment for non-adult comprehensive or teen treatment; Vivera retainers are an aesthetic retention solution for Invisalign and non-Invisalign patients, and Invisalign Assist is a treatment for general practitioners. It also gives dental practitioners additional supplies such as cleaning materials and adjusting equipment. In North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Japan, Align Technology sells its products directly to orthodontists and general practitioners.

Joseph M. Hogan became President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and a Director of Align Technology in June 2015. Mr. Hogan is a successful CEO with experience in a variety of areas, including healthcare, technology, and industrial automation. Mr. Hogan was the CEO of ABB, a $40 billion worldwide power and automation technologies firm based in Zurich, Switzerland, before joining Align. Mr. Hogan oversaw a 25% rise in revenue over his five years at ABB. Prior to joining ABB, Mr. Hogan spent 25 years at General Electric (GE), including eight years as CEO of GE Healthcare, where he oversaw significant global and market portfolio development and more than quadrupled revenue from $7 billion to $16 billion.

Opinion: Align has a familiar trajectory.  Large addressable markets with the slightest bit of earnings disappointments get taken out to the woodshed and shot. ALGN reported a slight earnings miss, Q1 coming in at EPS of $2.13 versus the consensus of $2.22. The company suffered the wrath of analysts who downgraded the stock. CEO Joe Hogan explained it as such, “Overall, the first quarter proved to be a tougher than expected operating environment globally and we believe our results primarily reflect three factors: the continued impact of COVID-19 waves in every region and especially in China with its restrictions and lockdowns under their zero-COVID policy; a weaker economic environment and waning consumer confidence driven by increasing inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions; and the military conflict in Ukraine and fallout across Europe. In addition, with approximately half our business occurring outside of the U.S., unfavorable foreign exchange rates negatively impacted our revenues, margins, and EPS. Notwithstanding these headwinds, Q1’22 total revenues of $973.2 million were up 8.8% year-over-year. This is compared to Q1’21 revenues of $894.8 million which had year-over-year revenue growth rate of 62.4% from Q1’20 to Q1’21. Our Q1’22 operating income was $198.1 million and operating margin was 20.4%.”

Cudos to Hogan as he ponied up $2 million to buy his company’s stock at $298.48 per share. The cheerleaders lowered their price target from Stifel from $575 to $425, Morgan Stanley from$575 to $525, Baird from $625 to $510, and Piper Sandler from $600 to $440.  Amazingly enough, the lowest target price is now 42% upside. This is for a company that grew just 8.8% during the 1s quarter over quarter and trades at 31.59 TTM P.E.   A realistic multiple of 10-12 x earnings would value Align at 1/3rd what it is trading at, closer to $100 per share.  This is what happens when the CEO believes what analysts are telling him. I don’t like betting against a CEO putting up $2million of his own money but this doesn’t make sense. It didn’t make sense at $700 per share and it doesn’t make sense now at less than half that price.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: McAlevey Michael R
Position: SVP & Chief Legal Officer
Transaction Date: 2022-04-29 Shares Bought: 1,110 Average Price Paid: $218.56 Cost: $242,602.00
Company: HCA Healthcare Inc. (HCA)

Name: Smith Andrea B
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-04-28 Shares Bought: 1,160 Average Price Paid: $213.63 Cost: $247,815.00
Company: HCA Healthcare Inc. (HCA)

Name: Frist Thomas F Jr
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-05-02 Shares Bought: 89,100 Average Price Paid: $211.93 Cost: $18,883,001.00
Company: HCA Healthcare Inc. (HCA)
HCA Healthcare, Inc. operates as a healthcare services firm in the United States through its subsidiaries. Outpatient services include outpatient surgery, laboratory, radiology, respiratory therapy, cardiology, and physical therapy. The company operates general and acute care hospitals that provide medical and surgical services such as inpatient care, intensive care, cardiac care, diagnostic, and emergency services; and outpatient services such as outpatient surgery, laboratory, radiology, respiratory therapy, cardiology, and physical therapy. It also runs freestanding ambulatory surgery centres, freestanding emergency care centres, urgent care centres, walk-in clinics, diagnostic and imaging centres, rehabilitation and physical therapy centres, radiation, and oncology therapy centres, physician practices, and other outpatient health care facilities. In addition, the corporation runs mental institutions that offer therapeutic services such as child, adolescent, and adult psychiatric care, as well as adolescent and adult alcohol and drug misuse treatment and counseling.

Mr. Michael R. McAlevey is a Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of HCA Healthcare, Inc., as well as a Vice President of Legal Operations and General Counsel at GE Aviation Systems LLC. He is a member of the GE Capital Markets, Inc. Board of Directors. Mr. McAlevey was previously worked at Georgetown University Law Center as a Principal, Alston & Bird LLP as a Partner, GE Aviation Systems North America LLC as a VP-Legal Operations & General Counsel, General Electric Co. as a Vice President, and The Phi Beta Kappa Society as a Member. He attended Washington & Lee University for his undergraduate degree and the University of Virginia School of Law for his graduate degree.

Andrea B. Smith worked for Bank of America for nearly 34 years before retiring in December 2021. She was most recently the chief administrative officer (CAO), which she held from August 2015 until December 2021. From January 2010 to August 2015, she was the head of Global Human Resources. Ms. Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Southern Methodist University. She also serves on the boards of the PGA of America and the Charlotte Sports Foundation, among other nonprofits.

Mr. Thomas F. Frist, III MBA, is the Founder and General Partner of Frist Capital LLC and Frisco Partners. Science Applications International Corp., HCA, Inc., and HCA Holdings, Inc. are all on his board of directors. Mr. Frist worked for SAIC, Inc. as an Independent Director. He was also a member of the Triad Hospitals, Inc. board of directors. He graduated from Princeton University with a BA and Harvard Business School with an MBA.

Opinion: Hospital chain giant HCA Cuts FY22 revenue view to $59.5M-$61.5B from $60B-$62B, consensus $61.24B. Sees FY22 adjusted EBITDA $11.8B-$12.4B. The company said, “The Company’s 2022 guidance contains a number of assumptions, including, among others, the Company’s current expectations regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related government legislation, labor cost and inflation and excludes the impact of items such as, but not limited to, gains or losses on sales of facilities, losses on retirement of debt, legal claims costs and impairment of long-lived assets.

Several insiders took advantage of the drop to buy shares and buoyed investor sentiment. According to FlyontheWall,  Mizuho analyst Ann Hynes says that while HCA Healthcare’s lowered guidance is a disappointment, she does not believe the company “is broken” as the 18% decline in the stock price implies. More importantly, HCA reiterated demand remains strong and saw improvement in the base business throughout the quarter, Hynes tells investors in a research note. She notes that HCA is currently trading at 8.0 times the company’s midpoint guidance range, below its five-year average of 8.5 times and five-year higher average of 9.0 times enterprise value to EBITDA.

The founder’s grandson, Thomas Frist III purchased $18 million of stock and stabilized the rout for now. Trading at 10x earnings is a reasonable price but not a bargain.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: McKibben Tracy B
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-04-29 Shares Bought: 1,475 Average Price Paid: $170 Cost: $250,750.00
Company: Ecolab Inc (ECL)
A trusted partner at nearly three million customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions, and services. With annual sales of $12 billion and more than 44,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions, data-driven insights, and personalized service to advance food safety, maintain clean and safe environments, optimize water and energy use, and improve operational efficiencies and sustainability for customers in the food, healthcare, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world. Our innovative products and services are used in hospitals, hotels, restaurants, schools, manufacturing plants, refineries, and other locations. Many of the world’s most recognizable brands rely on Ecolab to help ensure operational efficiencies, product integrity, and brand reputation. When you come to work at Ecolab, you get to take on some of the world’s most meaningful challenges and have the opportunity to learn and grow, shape your career, make an impact and quickly see the importance of your work.

MAC Energy Advisors LLC is the founder and CEO of an investment consulting firm that offers integrated and creative energy solutions to assist customers use capital effectively around the world. Ecolab’s director since 2015. Member of the Finance and Audit Committees. MAC Energy Advisors has been led by Ms. McKibben since its inception in 2010. She was the Managing Director and Head of Environmental Banking Strategy at Citigroup Global Markets from September 2007 to August 2009. Prior to joining Citigroup, Ms. McKibben worked at the White House National Security Council as Director of European Economic Affairs and EU Relations and Acting Senior Director for European Affairs from July 2003 to August 2007. She worked in different senior advising roles at the US Department of Commerce from March 2001 to July 2003 before joining the National Security Council.

Opinion: Ecolabs has lost 50% of its value since the beginning of the year.  I think there is a lot more to lose before I’d buy it.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Dallas H James
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-04-29 Shares Bought: 3,065 Average Price Paid: $81.75 Cost: $250,564.00
Company: Centene Corp (CNC)

Name: Coughlin Christopher J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-04-29 Shares Bought: 12,000 Average Price Paid: $81.37 Cost: $976,440.00
Company: Centene Corp (CNC).

Name: Samuels Theodore R. II
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-04-28 Shares Bought: 6,270 Average Price Paid: $80.94 Cost: $507,494.00
Company: Centene Corp (CNC)
Centene Corporation is a global healthcare conglomerate. The company focuses on underinsured and uninsured people and provides services to government-sponsored and commercial healthcare initiatives. It also offers education and outreach activities to help members learn about and obtain suitable healthcare treatments. Managed Care and Specialty Services are two of the company’s segments. Individuals can obtain health plan coverage through government-subsidized and private programs in the Managed Care category. Companies in its Specialty Services division provide a wide range of healthcare services and products to its Managed Care segment as well as other external customers. Through Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial programs, it offers managed healthcare goods and services. Its services include commercial programs, correctional healthcare, and government-sponsored care under federal contracts with the Department of Defense, in addition to Medicaid and Medicare (DoD).

The Company’s Independent Director is James Dallas. Since 2013, Mr. Dallas has been the CEO and President of James Dallas & Associates (information technology consultancy). Mr. Dallas worked for Medtronic Public Limited Company, a manufacturer of cardiac and other specialty medical equipment, from March 2006 to September 2013. From 2008 through 2013, he was Senior Vice President, Quality and Operations. He was Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer from 2006 to 2014. Mr. Dallas worked at Georgia-Pacific Corporation from 1984 until 2006 in a variety of positions with increasing responsibilities, including Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Mr. Dallas has been a member of the WellCare Board of Directors since 2016 and joined the Centene Board of Directors when the WellCare transaction was completed.

Christopher J. Coughlin is on the board of Prestige Consumer Healthcare, Inc. and Karuna Therapeutics, Inc. He has held the positions of Chief Operating Officer, Director, and Executive Vice President at Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc., Director at The Dun & Bradstreet Corp., President at Nabisco International, Inc., Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Nabisco Holdings Corp., Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Tyco International Ltd., Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Sterling Winthrop, Inc., Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Sterling Winthrop, Inc., Chief Financial Officer

Theodore (Ted) Samuels, 64, has more than 35 years of expertise in the financial industry and contributes to the Board’s substantial business and operational skills, particularly in economics, capital markets, and investment decision-making. Mr. Samuels served as President of Capital Guardian Trust Company from 2010 to 2016 and as a worldwide stock portfolio manager at Capital Group, one of the world’s most prestigious investment management firms, from 1990 to 2016. He participated on various management and investment committees at Capital Group, with a focus on long-term shareholder value generation. He is also a member of the President’s Council at Tuft and the Harvard West Coast Council.

Opinion: Centene raised its FY22 revenue view to $139.9B-$141.9B from $135.9B-$137.9B, consensus $137.03B. Sees FY22 adjusted effective tax rate 25%-26%. “While it is still early in the year, we are pleased to start strong across all of our business lines. Our updated full-year 2022 outlook reflects the Company’s positive momentum as well as our refreshed expectations around the timing of Medicaid redeterminations,” said Drew Asher, executive VP and CFO of Centene.

It’s a bear market for sure when companies beat and raise and stocks goes down.  CNC is trading with a takeout premium but I can’t imagine any takeover in this already consolidated health insurance industry.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Slattery John S
Position: VP
Transaction Date: 2022-05-02 Shares Bought: 3,601 Average Price Paid: $75 Cost: $270,075.00
Company: General Electric Co (GE)

Name: Culp H Lawrence Jr
Position: CEO/Chairman
Transaction Date: 2022-05-02 Shares Bought: 65,000 Average Price Paid: $74.53 Cost: $4,844,301.00
Company: General Electric Co (GE)

Name: Strazik Scott
Position: CEO/Chairman
Transaction Date: 2022-05-02 Shares Bought: 3,737 Average Price Paid: $74.23 Cost: $277,380.00
Company: General Electric Co (GE)
The General Electric Company is a technology and financial services firm. Power, Renewable Energy, Aviation, Healthcare, and Capital are the segments in which it operates. The Power division encompasses gas and steam turbines, generators, and power generation services, as well as technology, solutions, and services connected to energy production. Wind turbine platforms, hardware, and software, offshore wind turbines, solutions, goods, and services for the hydropower industry, blades for onshore and offshore wind turbines, and high voltage equipment are all part of the Renewable Energy segment. Jet engines and turboprops for commercial airframes, as well as maintenance, component repair, and overhaul services, as well as replacement parts, additive machines and materials, and engineering services, are all provided by the Aviation section. Medical imaging, digital solutions, patient monitoring, and diagnostics, drug research, biopharmaceutical production technology, and performance enhancement solutions are all part of the Healthcare category.

John is the President and CEO of GE Aviation, the world’s largest manufacturer of aircraft jet and turboprop engines and systems. John was the President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation before joining GE. John spent fifteen years in different leadership positions at top commercial aerospace advisory, leasing, and banking organizations before joining Embraer.

Lawrence Culp Jr. is the Company’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Culp is a Senior Advisor at Bain Capital Private Equity, a global private equity firm, and a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School. He is also the former CEO and President of Danaher, a global science and technology company that operates in the healthcare, environmental, and applied-end markets. He joined Danaher subsidiary Veeder-Root in 1990 and served in a number of leadership positions within Danaher, including COO and following his retirement. He has the position of Senior Advisor. He was a member of the Board of Visitors and Governors at Washington College and a member of the Wake Forest University Board of Trustees. He serves on the boards of GlaxoSmithKline, Danaher, and T. Rowe Price Group. He is the Chairman and CEO of General Electric in Boston.

Scott is the CEO of GE’s Gas Power division, which unites the company’s Gas Power Systems and Power Services companies’ talent, technology, and capabilities into a single gas life cycle organization. Scott has more than twenty years of finance, operations, and leadership experience with GE, including seven years in the company’s gas power businesses. In 2011, he was named chief financial officer for GE Aviation’s Commercial Engine Operations organization; in July 2013, he was named chief financial officer for GE’s Gas Power Systems business.

Opinion: There doesn’t seem to be any number of stock market machinations that can halt G.E.s death spiral.  A reverse 8 to 1 stock split in 2021 and a scheduled disintegration into three separate companies isn’t enough.  Jack Welch created a witches brew that not even superstar CEO Lawrence Culp can break the spell. We sold a timid amount of $75 puts in this cursed company.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Kruszewski Ronald J
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-04-29 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $61.94 Cost: $619,350.00
Company: Stifel financial corp (SF)
Individual individuals, corporations, municipalities, and institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe, and Canada benefit from Stifel Financial Corp.’s retail and institutional wealth management, as well as investment banking services. Global Wealth Management, Institutional Group, and Other are its three segments. Private client services include securities transaction and financial planning; institutional equity and fixed income sales, trading, and research; investment banking services, including mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, and private placements; and retail and commercial banking services, which include personal and commercial lending programs as well as deposit accounts. It also participates in and administers corporate and public finance underwritings, as well as provides financial advisory and securities brokerage services.

Stifel Financial Corp. and its primary subsidiary, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, are led by Ronald J. Kruszewski, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. He became Chairman in 2001 after joining the company as Chief Executive Officer in 1997. Mr. Kruszewski is Chairman of the American Securities Association (ASA) and a member of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Board of Directors (SIFMA). He served on the Federal Advisory Council of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Board of Directors from 2014 to 2019. He is also a member of the Saint Louis University Board of Trustees and the United States Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation.

Opinion: Stifel is reasonably priced and I can see why the CEO bought the stock.  There is a similar situation in Cowen where we are losing our asses there as well. I think this is a big unknown about future revenues and earnings as the IPO market is shut down. I wouldn’t panic here but I’m not buying.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Brown Hugh M
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-05-05 Shares Bought: 1,311 Average Price Paid: $60.13 Cost: $78,828.00
Company: BROWN & BROWN Inc (BRO)

Name: Gellerstedt Lawrence L III
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-05-05 Shares Bought: 1,690 Average Price Paid: $58.90 Cost: $99,541.00
Company: BROWN & BROWN Inc (BRO)

Name: Hays James Charles
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-05-05 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $58.90 Cost: $589,000.00
Company: BROWN & BROWN Inc (BRO)
Brown & Brown is the country’s sixth largest independent insurance agency. We offer risk management services to assist protect what matters most to our customers. Businesses, corporations, governmental entities, professional groups, trade associations, families, and individuals are served by our four business segments: Retail, National Programs, Wholesale, and Services. Integrity, innovation, outstanding capabilities, and discipline are the cornerstones of the Brown & Brown culture. We take a distinct approach to insurance, relying on our knowledge, carrier relationships, and steadfast client focus to provide outstanding service and solutions.

Brown & Brown, Inc. is a full-service insurance agency, wholesale brokerage, and insurance program. It offers insurance brokerage services as well as casualty insurance underwriting services. Retail, National Programs, Wholesale Brokerage, and Services are the company’s four segments. Fees are paid instead of commissions to the Retail Segment. The National Programs segment serves as a managing general agent, offering professional liability and related package products for specific professionals, a variety of individual insurance products, flood coverage, and targeted products and services for specific industries, trade groups, governmental entities, and markets niches. The Wholesale Brokerage sector offers and sells excess and surplus commercial and personal lines insurance to independent agents and brokers as well as the company’s retail agents.

Lawrence L. Gellerstedt is an entrepreneur who started Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. and has led 15 other businesses. He is on the boards of Georgia Power Company and eight other businesses. He was previously Executive Chairman of Cousins Properties, Inc., Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of The Gellerstedt Group LLC, President & Chief Operating Officer of The Integral Group LLC, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of American Business Products, Inc., Chairman of The Commerce Club, Inc., Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Beers Skanska, Inc., Chairman of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc., Chairman of The Woodruff Arts Center, Chairman of The Woodruff Arts Center, Chairman.

The Vice Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors is James C. Hays. Following Brown & Brown’s acquisition of The Hays Group, Inc. and certain of its affiliates in November 2018, he joined us as Vice Chairman (collectively, Hays Companies). He co-founded Hays Companies in 1994 and has served as its President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director since.

Opinion: At 27 P.E Brown and Brown doesn’t do anything for me. The reality is that most stocks are way overvalued and the market has further to come down to create value.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Abbott James R
Position: VP
Transaction Date: 2022-05-02 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $57.03 Cost: $570,348.00
Company: Zions Bancorporation National Association (ZION)
Zions Bancorporation is one of the nation’s premier financial services companies, consisting of a set of great banks in select high-growth markets. Under local management teams and community identities, Zions operates over 480 full-service banking offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. additionally, Zions may be a statesman in SBA lending, public finance advisory services, and agricultural finance. the corporate is included in the S&P 500 Index.

James R. Abbott is senior vice president of Investor Relations and External Communications. Before joining Zions in 2009, he was a senior vice president and an equity analyst with FBR Capital Markets covering the banking industry. Prior to that, Abbott was a senior bank equity research and merger and acquisitions analyst at SNL Financial and also worked in retail trading at Fidelity Investments. Abbott was frequently recognized among the top Investor Relations Officers for US regional banks by Institutional Investor while at Zions. He was consistently regarded as a top earnings estimator for the Thrift/Mortgage Finance industry by Starmine, with a five-star rating, in his capacity as Equity Analyst at FBR. Abbott has also worked extensively with the media, appearing on CNBC and Bloomberg TV and being quoted in a number of business journals, including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Barron’s, and the American Banker.

Opinion:  We bank with Zion’s and like this price.  Rising rates are going to help all the banks unless the economy goes into recession I’m not in the recession camp but I am firmly in the asset bubble camp.  Unless Zions and other banks are making under collateralized loans they should print money.  The territory Zions is in has a strong job market and lots of migration into their markets. I bought some stock here and will buy more.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Buffett Warren E
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-05-02 Shares Bought: 5,887,618 Average Price Paid: $57.11 Cost: $336,223,675.00
Company: Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY)
Occidental Petroleum Corporation is an energy company. The Company conducts oil and gas exploration and production activities in the United States, the Middle East and Africa. Within the United States, it has operations in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado, as well as offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The Company’s business segments include Oil and Gas, chemicals, and Midstream and Marketing. The Oil and Gas segment explores, develops and produces oil and condensate, natural gas liquids (NGL) and natural gas. The Chemical segment manufactures and markets basic chemicals and vinyls. The Midstream and Marketing segment purchases, markets, gathers, processes, transports and stores oil, condensate, NGL, natural gas, carbon dioxide (CO2) and power. It also trades around its assets, including transportation and storage capacity, and invests in entities that conduct similar activities. The Midstream and Marketing segment purchases, markets, gathers, processes, transports and stores oil, condensate, NGL, natural gas, carbon dioxide (CO2) and power. It also trades around its assets, including transportation and storage capacity, and invests in entities that conduct similar activities.

Warren Buffett, the full name Warren Edward Buffett, is an American businessman and philanthropist who was born on August 30, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. He is widely regarded as the most successful investor of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, having defied prevailing investment trends to amass a personal fortune of more than $100 billion. Buffett, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” was the son of Nebraska Congressman Howard Homan Buffett. He studied with Benjamin Graham at the Columbia University School of Business after graduating from the University of Nebraska with a B.S. in 1950. (M.S., 1951). Buffett returned to Omaha in 1956 and, in 1965, acquired a majority stake in textile maker Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which he used as his primary investment vehicle.

Opinion: Warren may buy the whole company but oil has run up dramatically. If and when the war ends, these stocks could take a big hit. I’d be careful chasing OXY but the thesis is right. The world needs hydrocarbons much more than the academics and the ESG crowd would like us to believe.  Before you tell me you don’t want to support fossil fuels, turn off your heat, air conditioning and electricity and prove it to me.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Helm Larry L
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-04-29 Shares Bought: 5,700 Average Price Paid: $52.25 Cost: $297,825.00
Company: Texas Capital Bancshares Inc (TCBI)
Texas Capital Bancshares has banking locations in five of the state’s main cities: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. Commercial, Energy, Mortgage Finance, and Real Estate loans are among the bank’s lending portfolios. The bank provides commercial loans, real estate term and construction loans, personal wealth management, and trust services, online and mobile banking, and other personalized services to its clients. BankDirect is the company’s internet banking business.

Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc. is currently chaired by Larry L. Helm. Helm has been chairman of Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc.’s board of directors since 2012, and has served on the board as a director since 2006. From 2016 to 2020, Helm worked as a senior advisor for Accelerate Resources, a data-driven energy firm that develops and produces oil and gas assets. He was senior vice president of corporate affairs at Halcón Resources Corporation, which is now known as Battalion Oil Corporation, prior to joining Accelerate Resources. Helm was previously the chief administrative officer of Petrohawk Energy Corporation from 2004 to 2011 when it was sold to BHP Billiton.

Opinion: Things are hopping in TCBI’s market. Rising rates are good for banks as long as we don’t go into a recession. This is the second recent insider buy and I’d back up the truck.  Oil and gas might have been the best performing sector in the market but I think regional banks could be the next hot area.

Name: Voorhees Name: Voorhees Steve C
Position:
Director
Transaction Date:
2022-05-04 Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $49.82 Cost: $996,320.00
Company:
Truist Financial Corp (TFC)
Truist Financial Corp. (TFC) Truist Financial Corporation, a holding company, provides banking and trust services in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States. The company operates through three segments: Consumer Banking and Wealth, Corporate and Commercial Banking, and Insurance Holdings. Its deposit products include non-interest-bearing checking, interest-bearing checking, savings, and money market deposit accounts, as well as certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts. As of December 31, 2020, the company operated through 2,781 banking offices. The company was formerly known as BB&T Corporation and changed its name to Truist Financial Corporation in December 2019. Truist Financial Corporation was founded in 1872 and is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Voorhees’ deep and varied business experience, including as a current CEO of a Fortune 500 company and his past experience as a CFO of a large, publicly-traded corporation, will provide significant leadership insight and extensive financial reporting and accounting expertise to the SunTrust board. Voorhees is the chief executive officer of WestRock, a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions with more than 45,000 employees and more than 300 operating and business locations in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Prior to his current role, Voorhees served in various executive leadership roles, including president and chief operating officer; executive vice president and chief financial officer; and chief administrative officer at WestRock, and a predecessor, RockTenn. Before joining RockTenn, he was in operations and executive roles at Sonat Inc., a diversified energy company headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.

Opinion: Bank stocks are supposed to react favorably to rising rates but clearly by the results of Truist, Zions, and TCBI this week, they are not. Why is that? JP Morgan has an opinion on this “Near term we expect bank stocks should benefit from good loan growth and attractive valuation, but the uncertainty about recession will continue to cloud the sector and keep it choppy medium term.”

Clearly, bank management at TFC, TCBI, Zions, and others don’t agree with that.  Bank stocks as a group of some of the highest insider buying at the moment.

Finviz Chart

Name: Zinsner David
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 022-04-30 Shares Bought: 5,500 Average Price Paid: $44.73 Cost: $246,014.00
Company: INTEL CORP (INTC)

Name: Gelsinger Patrick P
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 022-04-30 Shares Bought: 5,500 Average Price Paid: $44.58 Cost: $245,184.00
Company: INTEL CORP (INTC)
Intel Corporation is engaged in designing and manufacturing products and technologies. Client Computing Group (CCG), Data Center Group (DCG), Internet of Things Group (IOTG), Mobileye, Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG), and Programmable Solutions Group are among the company’s segments (PSG). The long-term operating system, system architecture, hardware, and application integration that enable PC experiences are the emphasis of the CCG segment. The DCG business unit creates workload-optimized solutions for computing, storage, and networking. The IOTG sector creates high-performance computing platforms that address the technological requirements of corporate use cases that span vertical industries and embedded markets. Driving assistance and self-driving solutions are provided by the Mobileye section. The NSG division manufactures memory and storage solutions using Intel’s 3D NAND technology.

David Zinsner is Intel Corporation’s executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). He is in charge of Intel’s global finance department, which includes finance, accounting, reporting, tax, treasury, internal audit, and investor relations. Zinsner was executive vice president and CFO at Micron Technology Inc. until joining Intel in January 2022. He was a member of the company’s executive leadership team and was in charge of the global finance organization and investor relations during his time there. Zinsner has over 20 years of financial and operational experience in semiconductors, manufacturing, and technology.

Intel Corporation’s chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors is Patrick (Pat) Gelsinger. On February 15, 2021, Gelsinger returned to Intel, where he had worked for the previous 30 years. Gelsinger was the CEO of VMware before rejoining Intel. In that role, he helped VMware become a global leader in cloud infrastructure, enterprise mobility, and cyber security, nearly tripling the company’s yearly sales. According to an annual Glassdoor study, Gelsinger was again named the best CEO in America in 2019. Gelsinger was president and chief operating officer of EMC’s Information Infrastructure Products group before joining VMware in 2012, where he oversaw engineering and operations for data storage, data computing, backup and recovery, RSA security, and enterprise solutions.

Opinion: I might be the lone Pat Gelsinger fan but I believe he will execute the greatest turnaround in modern corporate America. The U.S has been foolish in allowing semiconductors to be manufactured abroad. That’s changing and Intel is leading the change. When China moves on Taiwan, Intel stock may triple in value. It’s been a money-losing proposition for us so far but it’s inevitable that the next war will be fought over access to semiconductor technology.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Jacobson Paul A
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2022-04-28 Shares Bought: 35,000 Average Price Paid: $38.79 Cost: $1,357,650.00
Company: General Motors Co (GM)
In the United States, China, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy, General Motors Company manufactures and sells automobiles and trucks. In India, it sells sedans, crossovers, sport utility vehicles, pick-up trucks, coupes, sports/convertibles and hybrid vehicles, hatchbacks/wagons, vans, and microcars, as well as sedans, crossovers, sport utility vehicles, and hybrid vehicles. Parts and accessories, such as iPod and MP3 compatibility, mobility accessories, performance parts, AC parts and services, and merchandising, are also available through the company. It also provides services for car safety, security, and information. The company sells pre-owned autos. It distributes and sells its goods through dealers and distributors. NGMCO, Inc. was the previous name of General Motors Company, which was changed to General Motors Company in July 2009. The firm was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. Manufacturing facilities are located in India, the United States, and Canada. The United States Department of the Treasury owns and operates General Motors Company.

In December 2020, Paul Jacobson joined General Motors as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Prior to joining GM, Jacobson was the CFO of Delta Air Lines, Inc., which he helped turn into one of Fortune magazine’s Top 50 Most Admired Companies for six years. Eight times, Institutional Investor magazine’s poll of Wall Street experts and investors rated him the top CFO in the airline business. He is a member of the Auburn University Foundation Board of Trustees, the Auburn University Harbert College of Business Advisory Council, and the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management Board of Visitors.

Opinion: I don’t believe that Tesla is the only car manufacturer that can make EV vehicles.  We own Ford and now GM.  A reasonable price but hampered by enormous debt will limit the upside.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Rady Ernest S
Position: CEO/Chairman/10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-05-04 Shares Bought: 27,580 Average Price Paid: $34.84 Cost: $960,953.00
Company: American Assets Trust Inc. (AAT)
American Assets Trust is a self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT) that primarily owns, develops, and operates premium retail, office, and residential property throughout Northern and Southern California, as well as Oregon, Washington, Texas, and Hawaii. Its 3.1 million square foot portfolio includes over ten commercial complexes, roughly ten office buildings, a 369-room hotel and retail complex, and over five multi-family residential assets. Salesforce, Autodesk, the Veterans Benefits Administration, and well-known businesses Kmart, Lowe’s, Sports Authority, Old Navy, and Vons are among the tenants. The company was founded in 1967 as American Assets and became public in 2011.

Ernest S. Rady is the Company’s Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Rady has been our President and Chief Executive Officer since September 2015, and Chairman of our Board since our initial public offering in January 2011. Mr. Rady formed American Assets, Inc. in 1967 and is currently its president and chairman of the board of directors. Mr. Rady also established the Insurance Company of the West and Westcorp, a financial services holding company, in 1971. Mr. Rady was chairman and chief executive officer of Westcorp from 1973 to 2006. Mr. Rady was the chairman of Western Financial Bank from 1982 to 2006, as well as the chief executive officer from 1994 to 1996 and 1998 to 2006.

Opinion: I don’t know why Rady is obsessed with buying his own stock. I’m certainly not.

Finviz Chart

Name: Barber Bradley W
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-05-02 Shares Bought: 20,042 Average Price Paid: $34.19 Cost: $685,236.00
Company: H&E Equipment Services Inc (HEES)
H&E Equipment Services, Inc. is a full-service equipment provider. Equipment rentals, used equipment sales, new equipment sales, parts sales, and repair and maintenance services are among the company’s segments. The company’s equipment rentals division rents out its main construction and industrial equipment. The company’s used equipment sales section sells used equipment from its rental fleet as well as inventoried equipment. Its new equipment sales sector sells equipment through an in-house professional retail sales staff. Its parts sales division supplies parts to its own rental fleet and sells replacement components for the equipment it sells. It also keeps track of spare parts. Its repair and maintenance services business caters to both its own rental fleet and those of its clients. It offers preventative maintenance services on a regular basis. Transportation, haulage, and parts shipping are among the company’s ancillary equipment support activities.

Since November 2, 2012, Mr. Bradley W. Barber has served as President of H&E Equipment Services, Inc., and since June 3, 2008, he has also served as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Barber worked at H&E Equipment Services, Inc. as Vice President of Rental Operations from February 2003 to November 2005, General Manager from November 2005 to May 2008, and Executive Vice President from November 2005 to November 2, 2012. From March 1998 through February 2003, he was the Director of Rental Operations at Head & Engquist Equipment, L.L.C. Mr. Barber previously worked for a regional equipment manufacturer in both outside sales and branch management.

Opinion: Barber has a good track record trading his stock. With a multi-year infrastructure plan approved by Congress as part of the Biden’s administration’s early days of Build Back Better legislation, H&E Equipment should have a long runway ahead of it. We are buyers here.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Wiedenfels Gunnar
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2022-05-02 Shares Bought: 4,000 Average Price Paid: $18.46 Cost: $73,840.00
Company: Warner Bros. Discovery Inc (WBD)
Name: Gould Paul A
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-04-29 Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $18.25 Cost: $91,245.00
Company: Warner Bros. Discovery Inc (WBD)
The business is divided into four segments: domestic networks, international networks, education, and others. Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science, Velocity, Discovery Family, American Heroes, Destination America, Discovery Life, Oprah Winfrey Network, Eurosport, DMAX, and Discovery Kids are among the television networks it owns and operates. Survival, exploration, sports, leisure, general entertainment, heroes, adventure, crime and investigation, health, and children are among the company’s content genres. It operates radio stations and websites, as well as distributes content across multiple platforms such as brand-aligned websites, web-native networks, online streaming, mobile devices, video on demand (VOD), and broadband channels. It also publishes hard copy curriculum-based content and offers subscriptions to an online suite of curriculum-based VOD tools, professional development services, digital textbooks, and student exams for K-12 classrooms. It also owns and manages production facilities that create television material for broadcasters.

Dr. Gunnar Wiedenfels is the Chief Financial Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. and an Independent Member-Supervisory Board of SAP SE. SAP SE, Motor Trend Group LLC, and OWN LLC are all on his board of directors. Dr. Wiedenfels previously worked at Discovery, Inc., ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, and McKinsey & Co., Inc. as a Chief Financial Officer and Engagement Manager, respectively. He was also a member of the Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. board of directors.

Mr. Paul A. Gould is a Managing Director at Allen & Co. LLC, a Managing Director & Executive Vice President at Allen & Co., Inc., and a Member-Overseers Board at Weill Cornell Medical College. Radius Global Infrastructure, Inc., Liberty Latin America Ltd., Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc., Liberty Global Plc, International Monetary Fund, Liberty Global Broadband I Ltd., Cornell University, and Wildlife Conservation Society are among his board of directors. Mr. Gould previously worked for Discovery, Inc. as an Independent Director, Ampco-Pittsburgh Corp. as an Independent Director, and Allen Investment Management LLC as an Executive Vice President.

Opinion: No one has an idea of what this spinoff is worth. After the disastrous Netflix outing, there is a good chance this is grossly undervalued.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Hailey Douglas
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-05-02 Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $12.68 Cost: $253,600.00
Company: BGSF Inc (BGSF)
BGSF, Inc. is a professional workforce solutions supplier. Real Estate and Professional are two of its segments. Through property management companies, which are responsible for the day-to-day operations of apartment communities and commercial buildings in approximately 35 states and D.C., the Real Estate segment provides office and maintenance field talent to various apartment communities and commercial buildings in approximately 35 states and D.C. BG Multifamily and BG Talent are two divisions that operate in the Real Estate market. On a national level, the Professional sector provides client partners with information technology (IT) specialists with expertise in SAP, Workday, Peoplesoft, Hyperion, Oracle, One Stream, cyber, project management, and other IT workforce solutions. Under numerous trade names such as Extrinsic, American Partners, Donovan & Watkins, and others, the Professional segment operates through three divisions: IT Consulting, IT Infrastructure & Development, and Finance and Accounting.

Mr. Hailey has been a member of the board of directors of LTN Acquisition, LLC (the predecessor of BGSF, Inc.) since its creation, and was appointed to the Board in November 2013. Taglich Private Equity LLC’s managing director is Mr. Hailey. Mr. Hailey began working for Taglich Brothers, Inc. in 1994 as the Head of Investment Banking. He is not a partner, director, shareholder, or executive officer. Taglich Private Equity LLC is not affiliated with Taglich Brothers, Inc. In 2001, he co-founded the private equity initiative and is now involved in analysing and executing new investments. Mr. Hailey spent five years with Weatherly Financial Group, assisting in the sponsorship of leveraged buyouts, and five years in structured finance lending at Heller Financial and the Bank of New York before joining Taglich Brothers.

Opinion: I’m at a loss for an opinion here other than a 4.60% dividend yield is not a bad return.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Nielsen Kirk G
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-04-28 Shares Bought: 42,088 Average Price Paid: $5.97 Cost: $251,270.00
Company: CVRx Inc. (CVRX)
CVRx, Inc. is a commercial-stage medical device company. The Company is focused on developing, manufacturing, and commercializing minimally invasive neuromodulation solutions for patients with cardiovascular diseases. Barostim, the Company’s platform technology, is meant to employ the brain and nervous system’s capability to solve the autonomic nervous system (ANS) imbalance that causes heart failure (HF) and other cardiovascular disorders. Barostim sends imperceptible and persistent electrical pulses to baroreceptors in the wall of the carotid artery to tell the brain to alter cardiovascular function, resulting in Baroreflex Activation Therapy (Barostim Therapy). Barostim is a minimally invasive neuromodulation device that consists of two implantable components: an implantable pulse generator (IPG) and a stimulation lead, and is controlled by a wireless clinician-controlled programmer.

Kirk focuses on medical device investing at Versant and has more than a decade of venture capital and operations expertise. Kirk came to Versant from Medtronic’s Cardiac Rhythm Management division, where he worked as a sales representative. He has worked in marketing and business development for Medtronic and Fluidigm, as well as as a strategy consultant for Bain & Company, where he advised clients in the healthcare, private equity, and other industries.

Opinion: Biotech is in a death spiral. I would avoid, if not short every name I can

 


 

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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 within 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. SECForm4 is one of the smaller ones but I like supporting Frank. He is not arrogant. He’s helpful and has great prices. He also trades on his own data so I like people that eat what they kill.

“Typos Modus Operandi” if you can’t figure out what I meant
you shouldn’t be reading my emails anyway. In other words, the typos are free.

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. It’s just one piece of the investor’s due diligence. The Insiders Fund blog informs you of the purchases that count.  As a rule, we only look at material amounts of money 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.  Do your own analysis. They can easily be wrong about, and in many cases, maybe most cases have no more idea what the future may hold than you or me. In short, you can lose money following them.  We have and we curse aloud, what were they thinking!

We like Fly on the Wall for keeping up with what events might be happening, analysts’ comments, and whatever else could be moving the stock.  Dow Jones news service is an essential tool but many services pick up their feed like they do Bloomberg. For quick financial analysis, it’s hard to beat Old School Value.

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. 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