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

Friday was a blood bath. The Dow dropped 1000 points. Jerome Powell played Chucky, the criminally insane doll that came to life.  With stunning, chameleon-like performance, he morphed into Paul Volcker, warning the investment community about the pernicious destructive nature of inflation.  Volcker is the Fed Chairman that was famous for crushing the inflation of the 1970s by running interest rates into the high teen percentage points. I personally think it was the most boneheaded policy I’ve lived through. the economic equivalent of the now discredited medical theory of bleeding the patient to cure them.  The reality is that the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 brought about the Arab-Israeli war drove the price of oil up from $US3 per barrel to nearly $12 per barrel, roughly 300%. Sound familiar?

Powell lectured the audience global audience on the three things that the Fed had learned over the decades of studying inflation.

  1. Inflation is the Fed’s responsibility, and it will do everything it can to tame it even if it involves economic hardship for some.
  2. Inflation leads to lower employment and a worse economy for all, particularly the least well-off.
  3. If inflation expectations get rooted in popular thinking, it leads to a cycle of wage hikes and price hikes that ultimately chokes off the economy.

He glaringly omitted the main thing they haven’t learned. Energy is the root cause of this inflation as it was 50 years ago.  Russia is starving Germany and Europe of gas as it prosecutes the war in Europe. This is the tail that wags the dog. Complicating the picture is that ESG and nearshoring or bringing back the supply chain are also impacting prices. Being green and made in America isn’t going to be cheap. Slowing down demand from interest rate hikes will be a painful way to catch up with supply.

The market accordingly and rightfully plummeted. We’re now probing the 50-200 day moving average range in a bit of predictable technical trading.  In short, no one knows which way to turn except Chairman Powell and people obsessed with stock charts. The 10yr and 20 yr Treasury futures market was unmoved by the speech that sent stocks tumbling, further promising to invert the yield curve.

 

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Name: Gregory Bailey
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 38,000 Average Price Paid: $148.04 Cost: $5,625,676.00
Company: Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co Ltd. (BHVN)
In the United States, the biopharmaceutical business Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. creates therapeutic candidates that target neurological and neuropsychiatric illnesses as well as uncommon ailments. It provides BHV-3100 for non-migraine indications, NURTEC ODT (rimegepant) for the treatment of acute migraines, as well as developing rimegepant for the prevention of migraines, Zavegepant, which is in phase III clinical trials for the acute and preventive treatment of migraines, as well as respiratory complications and non-migraine studies. The business also provides Verdiperstat for multiple system atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, BHV-0223 for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, BHV-5000/5500 for neuropsychiatric indications, and Troriluzole for spinocerebellar ataxia, obsessive-compulsive disorders, as well as Alzheimer diseases. A collaborative deal between Cove and Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. would enable telemedicine assessment for migraine patients. The business was established in 2013 and had its corporate headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut.

Founder of 11 businesses, including Ascent Healthcare Solutions, Inc., SalvaRx Group Plc, and Portage Biotech, Inc., Gregory H. Bailey is an entrepreneur and businessman who has held leadership positions in seven different companies. He currently holds the positions of Chairman of Portage Biotech, Inc., which he founded in 1973, Director and Chief Business Officer at Portage Pharma Ltd., Chairman of Chelsea Avondale Ltd., Chief Executive Officer of Juvenescence, Inc., and President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director at J.P. Morgan (a subsidiary of Juvenescence Ltd.). He also serves on the boards of seven additional businesses in addition to being a managing partner at Palantir Group, Inc. (which he formed in 2002), and director and chief business officer at Portage Pharma Ltd. (which he founded). Managing partner at Mediqventures Ltd. Previously, he served as the company’s founder’s chief executive officer at V. Fund Investments Ltd., managing director at MDB Capital Group LLC.

Opinion:  Biohaven agreed to sell Pfizer its ground breaking migraine drug business for $148.50 per share in cash. The rest of the company will be spun off. The existing management is going with the new company spin-off.  Existing BHVN shareholders get $148.50  per share and 0.5 share in the NEWCO with closing expected during the 1st quarter.  Getting NEWCO for free at this price with the proven Biohaven management looks like a deal to me. Director must have though enough of it to tie up $5 Million for a few months.

 

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Name: Duy Loan T Le
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-05 Shares Bought: 2,000 Average Price Paid: $120.34 Cost: $240,677.00
Company: Wolfspeed Inc. (WOLF)
Wolfspeed, Inc. manufactures silicon carbide and gallium nitride (GaN) materials, as well as power and radio frequency (RF) devices, using wide bandgap semiconductor materials and silicon. Silicon carbide bare wafers, epitaxial wafers, and GaN epitaxial layers on silicon carbide wafers are among the company’s silicon carbide and GaN materials. Customers can use silicon carbide materials to make products for RF, power, and other applications. Customers and distributors can use the company’s power devices, which include silicon carbide Schottky diodes, metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs), power modules, and gate driver boards, in applications like electric vehicles with charging infrastructure, server power supplies, solar inverters, uninterruptible power supplies, industrial power supplies, and others.

Since October 2018, Ms. Le has served on the board of directors. In February 2015, she left Texas Instruments Inc., where she had most recently served as a Senior Fellow since 2002. Ms. Le held a number of executive positions over her 33 years at Texas Instruments, including global project manager for the Memory Division and Advanced Technology Ramp Manager for the Embedded Processing Division. She has been the company’s president and only partner since 2016 when DLE Management Consulting LLC was founded. Ms. Le has 33 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, specifically in chip design, the development of silicon manufacturing technology, and the manufacturing of advanced technology from concept to high-volume production. She also has 33 years of experience in international business, managing global R&D centers, joint ventures, foundries, and OSAT (Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test) partnerships in Asia and Europe. Currently, Ms. Le serves on the boards of directors for Atomera Incorporated, National Instruments Corp., and Ballard Power Systems (Nasdaq: NATI, BLDP, and NATI, respectively).

Opinion: This is the 5th purchase by Director Duy this year. Wolfspeed is way outpeforming the semiconductor peers

 

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Name: Michael Andrew Chambers
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 46,170 Average Price Paid: $108.28 Cost: $4,999,230.00
Company: Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. (SRPT)
For the treatment of rare illnesses, Sarepta Medicines, Inc., a biopharmaceutical firm at the commercial stage, focuses on the research and development of RNA-targeted therapeutics, gene therapies, and other genetic therapeutic modalities. It provides VYONDYS 53 for the treatment of duchenne in patients with confirmed mutations of the dystrophin gene that are susceptible to exon 53 skipping, as well as EXONDYS 51 injection to treat duchenne muscular dystrophy (duchenne) in people with the condition. The company is also working on AMONDYS 45, a product candidate that skips exon 45 of the dystrophin gene using phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer chemistry and exon-skipping technology; SRP-5051, a peptide conjugated PMO that binds exon 51 of the dystrophin pre-mRNA; SRP-9001, a DMD micro-dystrophin gene therapy program; and SRP-9003. The company is also working on AMONDYS 45, a product candidate that skips exon 45 of the dystrophin gene using phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer chemistry and exon-skipping technology.

When Fargo, North Dakota-based Aldevron was bought by Danaher Corporation in 2021, Mr. Chambers, who co-founded the company in 1998, assumed the position of Executive Chairman of the Board after more than 20 years as Aldevron’s CEO. As the company’s creator, Mr. Chambers oversaw Aldevron’s expansion into a top-tier service provider with facilities in both the US and Europe. Aldevron specializes in the manufacturing of nucleic acids and proteins, antibody development, and specialized services. He presently has a position on Calviri, Inc.’s board of directors. Goldman Sachs recognized Mr. Chambers as one of the “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs” in 2018. He graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology, microbiology, and chemistry.

Opinion: Insiders rarely buy at 52 week highs. When they do, it merits attention unless they just assumed their board directorship. Chambers is rich having sold Alderon for $9.6 billion. HIs $5 million purchase should be viewed with that in perspective.

 

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Name: Donovan Paul
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought:3,000 Average Price Paid: $98.85 Cost: $296,550.00
Company: Woodward Inc. (WWD)
Control systems are designed, produced, and maintained by Woodward, Inc. for the global aerospace and industrial sectors. The business is divided into the aerospace and industrial areas. The Aerospace division offers flight deck controls, actuators, servo controls, motors, sensors, fuel pumps, metering units, air valves, specialized valves, fuel nozzles, and thrust reverser actuation systems for turbine engines and nacelles. These goods are used in military fixed-wing aircraft, rotorcraft, guided weapons, and other defensive systems in addition to commercial and private rotorcraft and aircraft. Additionally, it offers commercial airlines, repair facilities, military depots, third-party repair shops, and other end users aftermarket maintenance, repair, and overhaul services. This market sector offers its goods through aftermarket sales of components, such as furnishing spares or replacements and spare parts, to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), tier-one suppliers, and various contractors.

Mr. Donovan’s demonstrated leadership of large company corporate finance and tax departments provides the Board with expertise regarding the intricacies of tax, banking, finance, and mergers and acquisitions. He also possesses direct knowledge of the power generation, transportation and aerospace markets, all of which are key business segments for Woodward. As a former member of the Office of the Chairman at Wisconsin Energy and a former member of the Executive Office at Sundstrand Corporation, Mr. Donovan contributes to the Board not only his strong knowledge of the markets in which Woodward competes but also strong leadership and insight into large organizations. Paul Donovan left his position as special advisor to Wisconsin Energy Corporation’s chairman in 2004. From 1999 to 2003, Mr. Donovan held the positions of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Wisconsin Energy Corporation. From June 1988 until August 1999, Mr. Donovan served as the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Sundstrand Corporation, a producer of industrial and aerospace goods, before joining Wisconsin Energy Corporation.

Opinion: None

 

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Name: Tobias Lutke
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-23 Shares Bought: 5,177 Average Price Paid: $71.94 Cost: $372,433.00
Opinion: Coinbase Global Inc. (COIN)
The technology and financial infrastructure for the crypto-economy in the United States and elsewhere are provided by Coinbase Global, Inc. The company provides institutions with a market with a pool of liquidity for transacting in crypto assets, the primary financial account in the crypto-economy for retailers, as well as technology and services that allow ecosystem partners to create crypto-based applications and securely accept crypto assets as payment. Based in Wilmington, Delaware, and established in 2012, Coinbase Global, Inc.

In September 2004, Tobias Lütke joined the board of directors of Shopify, which he helped co-found. The position of CEO has been held by Mr. Lütke since April 2008. Mr. Lütke served as the organization’s Chief Technology Officer from September 2004 until April 2008. Mr. Lütke produced many well-known open source libraries, including Active Merchant, while serving on the core team of the Ruby on Rails framework. Mr. Lütke presently has a position on Coinbase’s board (Nasdaq).

Opinion: COIN is a battleground stock.  Well-respected short seller Chanos was on TV last week talking up his short book, which Coinbase is part of. He said the company is losing $1 billion per month, and the stock-based compensation is going to further dilute shareholders. I don’t think wildly fluctuating trading crypto prices is a long-term viable business model, although you need volatility or there is nothing to trade. I can easily see a wrold where people actively engage in buying and selling goods and services in the crypto economy. We’re just not there yet, and when we do arrive, the transaction costs have to be superior to the anointed winner today, Visa.

 

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Name: Matthew McManus
Position: EVP & Chief Operating Officer
Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 8,625 Average Price Paid: $58.15 Cost: $501,544.00
Company: Azenta Inc. (AZTA)

Name: Lindon G Robertson
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 4,350 Average Price Paid: $57.62 Cost: $250,647.00
Company: Azenta Inc. (AZTA)
Azenta, Inc. offers life science sample discovery and management solutions in North America, Europe, China, Asia Pacific, and globally. Life Sciences Products and Life Sciences Services are the company’s two reportable segments. The Life Sciences Products segment provides automated cold sample management systems for compound and biological sample storage, as well as sample preparation and handling equipment, consumables, and instruments to assist customers with sample management throughout their research discovery and development workflows. To improve scientific research and assist drug development, the Life Sciences Services division offers comprehensive sample management programs, integrated cold chain solutions, informatics, and sample-based laboratory services. Sample storage, genomic sequencing, gene synthesis, laboratory processing, laboratory analysis, biospecimen procurement, and other support services are provided in this section. Its clientele includes pharmaceutical businesses, biotechnology corporations, biorepositories, and research organizations. Brooks Automation, Inc. was the company’s previous name until changing to Azenta, Inc. in December 2021. Azenta, Inc. was established in 1978 and is based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Azenta, Inc.’s Chief Operating Officer is Matthew F. McManus. He formerly worked with Procter & Gamble Co., McKinsey & Co., Inc., PrimeraDx, Inc., Asuragen, Inc., Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Inc., and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation as Manager-Business Unit. Dr. McManus holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Boston College, and a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross (Massachusetts).

Lindon G. Robertson is the Brooks Automation, Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President. Mr. Robertson also serves on the boards of Brooks Automation Ltd. (UK), FluidX Ltd., and 4titude Ltd. He was previously the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of GrafTech International Ltd., as well as the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of GrafTech International Holdings, Inc. (a subsidiary of GrafTech International Ltd.), and the CFO-Global Hardware Business at International Business Machines Corp. He holds an MBA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas in Austin.

Opinion: I’m hesitant to buy a business that is not profitable and has grown by acquisition.

 

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Name: Philip V Bancroft
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-18 Shares Bought: 13,000 Average Price Paid: $38.90 Cost: $505,639.00
Company: Regional Management Corp. (RM)
A diversified consumer finance firm, Regional Management Corp. offers a range of installment lending products, especially to Americans who have trouble obtaining consumer credit through banks, thrifts, credit card companies, and other lenders. It provides retail loans to pay for the purchase of furniture, appliances, and other retail goods, as well as small and big installment loans. Along with reinsurance products, the firm also offers insurance products, such as credit life, credit accident and health, credit property, credit vehicle single interest, and credit involuntary unemployment insurance. Additionally, in addition to its consumer website, its loans are obtained through branches, centrally controlled direct mail campaigns, internet partners, and merchants. By the 24th of February 2022, the business had 350 or more branches spread throughout 14 states. Greer, South Carolina, serves as the corporate headquarters for Regional Management Corp., which was founded in 1987.

Mr. Philip V. Bancroft, a CPA, serves as President of The ACE Group, Inc. and is an Independent Director at Regional Management Corp. He is on the Regional Management Corp. board of directors. ACE Limited, Chubb Ltd., PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd., PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Chubb Group Ltd. were all employers of Mr. Bancroft in the past. He also held positions as chief financial officer and executive vice president at ACE Limited and Chubb Ltd. He also served on the Haub School of Business board at Saint Joseph’s University. His undergraduate studies were completed at Temple University (Pennsylvania).

Opinion: Nonprime loans do terribly in a recession as defaults, and late payments surge.

 

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Name: Wes Cummins
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-05-31 Shares Bought: 16,300 Average Price Paid: $34.72 Cost: $566,016.00
Company: Vishay Precision Group Inc. (VPG)
Vishay Precision Group, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets sensors, sensor-based measurement systems, specialty resistors, and strain gages in the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe, Asia, and Canada. It operates through three segments: Foil Technology Products, Force Sensors, and Weighing and Control Systems. The company’s product portfolio includes foil resistors, foil strain gages, transducers, load cells, modules, data acquisition systems, and weighing and control systems, as well as sensors that convert mechanical inputs into an electronic signal for display, processing, interpretation, or control by its instrumentation and system products. Its products are primarily used in the military and aerospace, medical, agricultural, steel, and construction sectors for application in waste management, bulk hauling, logging, scales manufacturing, engineering systems, pharmaceutical, oil, chemical, paper, and food industries.

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

Opinion: Cummins is a persistent buyer, but he doesn’t have much to show for his investment as the majority of it was done at similar prices. I don’t understand this buying pattern.

 

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Name: Patrick P Gelsinger
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-08-24 Shares Bought: 14,800 Average Price Paid: $33.86 Cost: $501,153.00
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.

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. He oversaw engineering and operations for data storage, data computing, backup and recovery, RSA security, and enterprise solutions.

Opinion: Gelsinger continues to put his money where his mouth is but nothing to show but losses for the effort.

 

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Name: Peter Boneparth
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $30.01 Cost: $750,130.00
Company: Kohls Corp (KSS)

Name: Jonas Prising
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-23 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $29.67 Cost: $296,694.00
Company: Kohls Corp (KSS)
In the US, the retail business Kohl’s Corporation operates. Through its storefronts and internet, it provides branded clothing, accessories, household goods, and shoes. In addition to Apt. 9, Croft & Barrow, Jumping Beans, SO, and Sonoma Goods for Life, the firm also sells its goods under the Apt. 9, LC Lauren Conrad, Nine West, and Simply Vera Vera Wang brand names. As of March 21, 2022, it ran around 1,100 Kohl’s shops as well as the www.Kohls.com website. With its corporate headquarters in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Kohl’s Corporation was established in 1988.

Peter Boneparth currently serves as Chairman of JetBlue Airways Corp. Additionally; he serves on the boards of johnnie-O, Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. Mr. Boneparth’s previous positions include President and CEO of Jones Apparel (US) LLC, Senior Advisor at Irving Place Capital Management LP, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of The Jones Group, Inc., as well as President and CEO of Nine West Holdings, Inc. In addition to his undergraduate degree from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Peter Boneparth also holds a doctoral degree from the University of Virginia.

Entrepreneur Jonas Prising currently holds the positions of Co-Chairman of Innovation In Milwaukee, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer for ManpowerGroup, Inc., Chief Executive Officer for Right Management, Inc., and President & Director at COMSYS IT Partners, Inc. He has previously served as the CEO of six different businesses (both are subsidiaries of ManpowerGroup, Inc.). Additionally, he serves on the boards of Kohl’s Corporation, Junior Achievement USA, and JA Worldwide, Inc. (former Chairman). Jonas Prising has held positions at Electrolux AB as the Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Manpower SRL’s Managing Director, and the Forum Mondial de L’Economie’s Co-Chairman of the Regional Business Council. An MBA was awarded to Mr. Prising by the Stockholm School of Economics.

Opinion: KKS stock fell 10 % on Q2 earnings. The Company said second-quarter results were impacted by a weakening macro environment, high inflation, and dampened consumer spending, which especially pressured our middle-income customers. It doesn’t sound like a stock I want to buy, but money can be made if the price is right.

 

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Name: Jeffrey Richart Geygan
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-23 Shares Bought: 6,953 Average Price Paid: $29.84 Cost: $207,488.00
Company: Wayside Technology Group Inc. (WSTG)
In the United States, Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, and other countries, Wayside Technology Group, Inc. provides value-added IT distribution and solutions. Distribution and Solutions make up its two business divisions. Under the names Climb Channel Solutions and Sigma Software Distribution, the firm provides technical software and hardware to corporate and value-added resellers, consultants, and systems integrators. TechXtend and Grey Matter provide software, hardware, and services. Additionally, it resells computer gear and software created by others and offers technical support to end-user clients. The firm also sells computer hardware, a range of products from different software suppliers, solutions for security, networking, storage and infrastructure management, application lifecycle management, virtualization/cloud computing, and other technically complex fields.

In February 2018, Mr. Geygan was added to the Board of Directors. He established investment research and advising company in 2007 called Global Value Investment Corp., where he serves as CEO and President. Mr. Geygan worked as a Senior Portfolio Manager at UBS Financial Services, Inc. before establishing Global Value Investment Corp. He has been working in the finance and investment management sectors since 1987, and he is an authority in financial statement analysis. At the College of Charleston, the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Lubar School of Business, and the IE University in Madrid, Spain, Mr. Geygan has taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses. The Board of Directors of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. includes Mr. Geygan. He also sits on the University of Wisconsin – Madison Department of Economics Advisory Board.

Opinion: Typical director purchases seem to hover around $200K, an amount similar to their annual compensation.

 

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Name: Rady Ernest S
Position: CEO/Chairman/10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-08-22 Shares Bought: 27,700 Average Price Paid: $28.71 Cost: $795,253.00
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: Office and retail are out of favor as hybrid work and digital commerce provide secular headwinds.

 

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Name: Joseph W Brown
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-18 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $25.85 Cost: $258,500.00
Company: Global Indemnity Group LLC. (GBLI)
Global Indemnity Group LLC is a company that offers a variety of insurance and reinsurance services. Commercial Specialty, Farm, Ranch, and Stable, Reinsurance Operations, and Exited Lines are the company’s segments. Small company binding authority, property brokerage, vacant express, and programs are all part of the Commercial Specialized division, which offers specialty and casualty products. Specialty Property is a division that sells specialty personal lines property and casualty insurance. The Farm, Ranch, and Stable section provide specialist property and casualty coverage for the agriculture industry, including commercial farm auto and excess/umbrella coverage, as well as horse mortality and major medical insurance. The Reinsurance Operations division provides reinsurance solutions to insurance and reinsurance firms through brokers and primary writers.

Mr. Joseph W. Brown, Jr. is the Chairman of MBIA Insurance Corp., as well as a member of the CPCU Society and the American Academy of Actuaries. He is a member of the Global Indemnity Group LLC Board of Directors. Mr. Brown has previously worked with Global Indemnity Ltd., MBIA, Inc., Safeco Property & Casualty Insurance Cos., Talegen Holdings, Inc., and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. as an Independent Director Executive Chairman, Non-Executive Chairman, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. He was also a board member for Global Indemnity Plc, MBIA, Inc., and Oxford Health Plans (CT), Inc. Northern Illinois University was where he earned his bachelor’s degree.

Opnion: None

 

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Name: Tholen Steven W
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2022-07-01 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $24.65 Cost: $246,500.00
Company: HighPeak Energy Inc. (HPK)
Oil, gas, and natural gas liquids reserves are acquired, explored, developed, and produced by HighPeak Energy, Inc., an independent oil and gas firm in the West Texas Midland Basin. The business had around 64,213 MBoe of proven reserves as of December 31, 2021. The corporate headquarters of HighPeak Energy, Inc. are in Fort Worth, Texas, and it was founded in 2019.

In past, from 2011 to 2014, Mr. Tholen worked as the company’s co-founder and executive vice president of finance for Fieldco Construction Services, Inc., which offered oilfield construction services to customers in East Texas and Western Louisiana. From 2009 through 2013, Mr. Tholen held the positions of founder and president of SDL&T Energy Partners, a global provider of equity and debt finance for energy firms and projects. Mr. Tholen served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Harvest Natural Resources, Inc. from 2001 to 2008; this E&P firm has assets in the US, Venezuela, Indonesia, Gabon, and Russia. Mr. Tholen worked for the independent natural gas and oil business Penn Virginia Corporation as vice president and chief financial officer from 1995 to 2000. Mr. Tholen worked for the independent natural gas company Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation in North America from 1990 to 1995 as its treasurer and manager of business administration. Mr. Tholen received his Bachelor of Science in Physics from St. John’s University in 1971 before earning his MBA in Finance from The University of Denver’s Daniels School of Business in 1979.

Opinion: Oil and Gas and Utility stocks are the only positive gainers for the year. I prefer natural gas to oil but there doesn’t seem to be any near-term replacement for oil.

 

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Name: Richard Barry
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-23 Shares Bought: 36,159 Average Price Paid: $23.79 Cost: $860,223.00
Company: Cassava Sciences Inc. (SAVA)
Cassava Sciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that creates drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Its lead therapeutic product candidate, similar, is a small molecule drug that has completed a Phase 2b clinical trial, and its investigational diagnostic product candidate, SavaDx, is a blood-based biomarker/diagnostic for Alzheimer’s disease. In March 2019, the company changed its name from Pain Therapeutics, Inc. to Cassava Sciences, Inc. Cassava Sciences, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

The founder of Eastbourne Capital Management LLC is Richard Jon Barry. Mr. Barry serves on the boards of Elcelyx Therapeutics, Sarepta Therapeutics, and Cassava Sciences. He is also a managing member of GSM Fund LLC and a partner of the San Diego Padres baseball team. He formerly held the positions of Portfolio Manager at RS Investment Management Co. LLC, Partner at Eastbourne Capital Management LLC, and Analyst at Regal Asset Management Corp. Mr. Barry graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree.

Opinion: I haven’t seen a story like this before. Effective treatment for Alzheimer’s is the holy grail of Big Pharma. Billions have been spent trying to find an elusive cure or even a drug that shows efficaciousness. Then comes Remi Barber with his new approach to debilitating dementia. Promising scientific papers are authored and backed up by insider buying in the $7-8 price range. Cassava gets picked up by someone writing research on Seeking Alpha and becomes a very popular stock, at times the most popular one on this ubiquitous social media platform for stocks.  We got extremely lucky buying the stock at $7.50 and unloading at mostly $100 at the top of the mania, knowing that if the drug ever got close to approval, we would be loving the vast majority of potential gains on the table but as the saying goes a bird in the hand is worth twice in the bush.

A short seller claimed that the data used in the scientific journals was altered and files a suit with the SEC backed up by a former SEC attorney. The stock plummets.  I called on Remi and Robertson to step up and buy the stock. No response.  Months later, the Company issues a press release announcing that a legitimate scientific journal has reviewed their FDA submission of their proprietary drug, Simufilam, and concluded the data has not been doctored. Now there is a flurry of buying, highlighted by Director Robertson’s purchase just four days before the press release in a possible egregious example of trading on insider information. We’re right in there with them riding the ramp, but it’s not likely going to $100 again without some success in the trials. Next catalysts: Phase 2 long-term open label study enrollment completed (n=200), noted May 5, 2022. Phase 2 full study results expected 2H 2022. Phase 3 (n=400) patient enrollment to be completed in 4Q 2022.

2022-08-12
Purchase
2022-08-16
4:24 pm
CASSAVA SCIENCES INC SAVA ROBERTSON SANFORD
Director
100,000 $20.69 $2,069,000 1,024,765
(Direct)
View

 

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Name: James Defranco
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-17 Shares Bought: 160,373 Average Price Paid: $18.53 Cost: $2,971,712.00
Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 191,735 Average Price Paid: $18.12 Cost: $3,473,809.00
Transaction Date: 2022-08-22 Shares Bought: 144,328 Average Price Paid: $17.82 Cost: $2,571,925.00
Company: DISH Network CORP. (DISH)
DISH Network Corporation is a conglomerate. Its subsidiaries are involved in two major business segments: Pay-TV and Wireless. Its Wireless business section is divided into two divisions: Retail Wireless and 5G Network Deployment. The Pay-TV section provides pay-TV services under the DISH and SLING brands. The DISH branded pay-TV service includes DBS and FSS spectrum, owned and leased satellites, broadcast operations, customer service centers, a leased fiber optic network, and in-home service. Multichannel, live-linear streaming over-the-top (OTT) Internet-based domestic, foreign, and Latino video programming services are available under the SLING brand of pay-TV services. Under the Boost Mobile and Ting Mobile brands, the Cellular-Retail division provides countrywide prepaid and postpaid retail wireless services to subscribers. The Wireless-5G Network Deployment unit has made an investment in order to get specific wireless spectrum licenses.

James DeFranco is the Company’s Executive Vice President and Director. Mr. DeFranco is the Executive Vice President and has served as a vice president and member of the Board of Directors since the company’s inception. James DeFranco is the Company’s Executive Vice President and Director. Mr. DeFranco is one of the Executive Vice Presidents and has served as a vice president and member of our Board of Directors since the company’s inception. He has held numerous executive officer and director positions with DISH Network and our companies over the last five years. Mr. DeFranco co-founded DISH Network with Charles W. Ergen and Cantey M. Ergen in 1980. The Board determined that Mr. DeFranco should remain on the Board owing to his experience of DISH Network from its inception, notably in sales and marketing.

Opinion: Massive buying by this insider convinces me that the midrange bandwidth that the Company has spent billions on might be substantially worth more than what they paid for it. T Mobile’s deal with Star Link to eliminate dead spots might reinforce the value. There is also the possibility of the Government taking a less restrictive stance on this spectrum, turning invisible wavelengths into greenbacks for long suffering Dish shareholders.

 

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Name: Julian Nebreda
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-18 Shares Bought: 12,000 Average Price Paid: $17.00 Cost: $203,952.00
Company: Fluence Energy Inc. (FLNC)
Fluence Energy, Inc. provides energy storage products and services and digital applications worldwide for renewables and storage applications. The company sells energy storage products with integrated hardware, software, digital intelligence, and engineering and delivery services to support the deployment of its storage products, operational and maintenance, energy storage-as-a-service, and digital applications and solutions. It serves utilities, developers, and commercial and industrial customers. The company was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Fluence Energy, LLC operates as a subsidiary of Siemens Aktiengesellschaft and The AES Corporation. Fluence is enabling the global clean energy transition with market-leading energy storage products and services and digital applications for renewables and storage. Fluence brings proven energy storage products and services and digital applications for renewables and storage to support the modernization of their energy networks.

Mr. Julian Jose Nebreda Marquez holds the positions of President of AES Brasil Ltda., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AES Elpa SA, President of The AES Corporation’s South America Strategic Business Unit, Chairman of AES Andes SA, Chairman of AES Brasil Energia SA, and Chief Executive Officer, Director, and Director-IR of Brasiliana Participaçes SA. He serves on the boards of directors for several companies, including IPALCO Enterprises, Inc., Fluence Energy, Inc., Eletropaulo Metropolitana Eletricidade de So Paulo SA, Brasiliana Participaçes SA, AES Chivor & CIA SCA ESP, AES Horizon Investments Ltd., Andes Solar SpA, Compaa Transmisora la Cebada SA, Empresa Eléctrica Anga Mr. Nebreda Marquez has held positions including chairman of AES Tiete Energia SA, council member of the Inter-American Development Bank, and chief executive officer of C.A. La Electricidad de Caracas. Additionally, he was a board member at AES Ohio. Both Georgetown University Law Center and Universidad Católica Andrés Bello awarded him graduate degrees.

Opinion: We’ve taken an interest in Fluence from the day it was spun off from AES and Siemens. The only publicly traded pure play utility battery company gives investors a chance to express their enthusiasm for renewables.

 

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Name: Corning F. Painter
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-08-22 Shares Bought: 30,000 Average Price Paid: $16.77 Cost: $503,124.00
Company: Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. (OEC)
Orion Engineered Carbons S.A., together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells carbon black products in Germany, the United States, South Korea, Brazil, China, South Africa, the rest of Europe, and internationally. It operates in two segments, Specialty Carbon Black and Rubber Carbon Black. The company offers post-treated specialty carbon black grades for coatings and printing applications, high purity carbon black grades for the fiber industry, and various conductive carbon black grades for polymers, coatings, and battery electrodes. It also provides rubber carbon black products for applications in mechanical rubber goods under the PUREX brand, as well as in tires under the ECORAX brand name. The company was formerly known as Orion Engineered Carbons S.Ã r.l. and changed its name to Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. in July 2014. Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. was founded in 1862 and is headquartered in Senningerberg, Luxembourg.

Mr. Painter was named Chief Executive Officer of the Group in September 2018 and joined the Board of Directors in October 2018. Mr. Painter began his career at Air Products in 1984 as part of the company’s career development program. He rose through the ranks, progressing through a variety of commercial and operations positions in the U.S., and was rapidly promoted several times over the last several years, holding leadership positions in operations, supply chain, corporate strategy, and technology. He held the position of Executive Vice President, Industrial Gases, until he left Air Products at the end of June, 2018 to become Orion Engineered Carbons group’s new Chief Executive Officer starting from September 2018.

Opinion: A press release from 2021 offers a glimpse of the catalyst to move this stock. Insiders have been buying the stock all year. Perhaps It’s another lithium EV battery play and one that few people have talked about.  Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

“At Orion, we recognize the requirements for advanced materials and are determined to contribute to a sustainable future,” said Sandra Niewiem, PhD, senior vice president, Global Specialty Carbon Black and EMEA Region, Orion Engineered Carbons. “We are pleased to actively contribute to further development of sustainable, high-performing lithium-ion batteries, as our acetylene black has the lowest carbon footprint on the market.”

Lithium-ion batteries involve cutting-edge technologies and are used for e-mobility (electrification of vehicles), renewable energy storage, in portable electronic devices, and a wide range of other applications where renewable energy supplies are critical. The broad application spectrum opens a large market for battery cells that meet demanding energy/power density and lifecycle requirements. High-performance carbon blacks are used as conductive additives and are essential to meeting these specifications.

Orion acetylene black offers conductive functionalities that improve lithium-ion battery performance. Acetylene black aggregates form a three-dimensional network to lower the internal resistance of battery cells by enhancing conductivity, ensuring that charge and discharge processes are performed effectively and Ohmic losses are minimized. Its high intrinsic electronic conductivity and purity compared to other carbon blacks leads to significantly higher power densities and longer battery lifecycle. In addition, the acetylene black functional structure produces synergistic benefits with other additives, such as carbon nanotubes, in lithium-ion battery systems.

 

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Name: Michael Andrew Schemick
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-17 Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $16.64 Cost: $416,000.00
Company: Certara Inc. (CERT)

Name: Stephen M. McLean
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $16.32 Cost: $326,400.00
Company: Certara Inc. (CERT)
Customers can use software from Certara, Inc. for biosimulation in drug development, preclinical and clinical research, regulatory filings, and market access. The company also offers technology-enabled services. It uses biosimulation software, technology, and services to revolutionize drug research and development and provides medications to patients. The business also offers associated technology-enabled services to help its clients’ innovative pharmaceuticals become approved and reach the market. Its technology-enabled services include clinical pharmacology, model-based meta-analysis, regulatory writing, medical communications, regulatory operations, mechanistic biosimulation, empirical biosimulation, drug development and regulatory strategy, and market access. Additionally, the business provides software, including platforms for mechanistic biosimulation, empirical PK/PD biosimulation, data standardization, and compliance, scientific informatics, clinical outcomes databases for biosimulation, authoring, and management of regulatory submissions, and market access communication. The business provides services to academic and governmental organizations, as well as biopharmaceutical firms.

In August 2014, Mr. Schemick became the Chief Financial Officer of Certara. He brings to the company 19 years of financial management expertise from a variety of sectors, including software and consulting firms. Prior to joining Certara, Schemick worked for Haights Cross Communications, a holding company for investments in education and media, where he had a prominent position in business transformation, strategy, and financial operations on behalf of private equity investors. In addition, Schemick served as the chief financial officer for two divisions of Kaplan Inc., a renowned education corporation, and has extensive knowledge of managing businesses with both public and private investor backing. After receiving his MBA in accounting from Rutgers University, Schemick began his work there. He also has the designations of CTP and CPA.

At Arsenal Capital Partners, a private equity company with offices in New York City, Mr. McLean serves as Senior Partner, Healthcare Group. Mr. McLean was Merrill Lynch Capital Partners, Inc.’s first founding partner before that. McLean is a member of the boards of directors for a number of companies, including CellCarta, Accumen, WIRB Copernicus Group, Inc., and Best Value Healthcare LLC. He founded and served as chairman of the International Biomedical Research Alliance. McLean graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with a BS in Economics, summa cum laude, and an MBA with Distinction.

Opinion:  Certara announced the sale by certain stockholders, including EQT Avatar Parent L.P., in an underwritten secondary offering of 7M shares of common stock at $17.50. That didn’t help the sentiment. Money can be made in this business but not sure if its the right time or place.

 

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Name: James Lang Paul
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 6,000 Average Price Paid: $16.45 Cost: $98,723.00
Company: OptimizeRx Corp. (OPRX)

Name: Febbo William J
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 16,000 Average Price Paid: $15.59 Cost: $251,005.00
Company: OptimizeRx Corp. (OPRX)
A supplier of digital health solutions, OptimizeRx Corporation, offers a range of services to patients, healthcare workers, and life sciences companies. Financial messaging, a virtual patient support center that enables doctors and staff to access sample vouchers, co-pay coupons, and other patient support through their EMR and/or e-prescribe systems, as well as brand awareness and therapeutic support messaging services, such as brand awareness messages, reminder ads, therapeutic support messages, and unbranded messages, are some of the company’s products and applications. Additionally, it provides brand support services, which are geared toward educating and assisting pharmaceutical manufacturers in identifying, creating, and putting into practice eRx media strategies, such as drug file integration, sales force training, and strategy development services for marketing their goods. The company also runs two platforms: a HIPAA-compliant automated mobile messaging platform that enables pharmaceutical manufacturers and related entities to engage with patients to improve regimen compliance directly.

Businessman James D. Lang has served as the CEO of ten different organizations. He is now the Chief Executive Officer of Eversana Life Science Services LLC, the Chairman of Health Strategies Group, Inc., and the Chairman of Alliance Life Sciences Consulting Group, Inc. He is on the boards of OptimizeRx Corp., BioVie Inc., and ORENCO Hydropower Inc. He is also CEO of JLL Partners LLC’s Global Life Sciences Services Platform. He has previously served as President and CEO of Strategic Decisions Group, Principal at Analog Devices, Inc., Chairman at Brown Hagood LLC, Chief Executive Officer of Decision Resources, Inc., President, and CEO of IHS CERA LLC, President and CEO of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, President and Director at Activate Networks, Inc., and Principal at Data General Corp. The University of New Hampshire awarded Mr. Lang a bachelor’s degree, and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth awarded him an MBA.

Entrepreneur and businessman William J. Febbo developed MedPanel, Inc., Digital Capital Network, Inc., and Plexuus LLC. He has also served as the CEO of six separate organizations. He now holds the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Director of OptimizeRx Corp. and CEO of Panel Intelligence LLC. Mr. Febbo serves as Treasurer & Director at the United Nations Association of Greater Boston as well as on the boards of Augmedix, Inc. and Modular Medical, Inc.Formerly, William J. Febbo held the positions of Chairman at Plexuus LLC, Chief Executive Officer at Digital Capital Network, Inc., COO, Director & Head-Investor Relations at Merriman Holdings, Inc., Chief Operating Officer at Merriman Capital, Inc. (a subsidiary of Merriman Holdings, Inc.), Principal at DURA Automotive Systems, Inc., and Chairman for Pollone SA (a subsidiary of DURA Automotive Systems, Inc.), as well as Principal at Merriman His undergraduate studies were completed at Dickinson College.

Opinion: I’m not sure this isn’t an evil business. At any rate, it doesn’t interest me.

 

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Name: William E Greehey
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-18 Shares Bought: 110,299 Average Price Paid: $15.81 Cost: $1,744,279.00
Company: NuStar Energy L.P. (NS)
The terminaling, storing, and selling of petroleum products are activities that NuStar Energy L.P. does in both domestically and abroad. Additionally, the business transports anhydrous ammonia and petroleum products. The pipeline, storage, and fuel marketing segments make up its three operating divisions. The Pipeline section moves crude oil, anhydrous ammonia, and refined goods. The Storage segment owns terminal and storage facilities that provide services such as pilotage, tug assistance, line handling, launch, emergency response, and other ship services, as well as storage, handling, and other services for petroleum products, crude oil, specialty chemicals, renewable fuels, and other liquids. Bunkering operations along the Gulf Coast, blending operations, and the acquisition of petroleum products for resale are all part of the Fuels Marketing segment’s activities.

William E. Greehey is a businessman who has led five distinct organizations. Mr. Greehey is now the Chairman of NuStar Energy LP, the Chairman of NuStar Logistics LP, and the Chairman of NuStar GP LLC (both are subsidiaries of NuStar Energy LP). He has previously held the positions of Chairman of NuStar GP Holdings LLC and Chairman of Valero Energy Corp.

Opinion: NS has gone nowhere, but its individual largest shareholder, Greehey, seems all in.  It’s a high dividend payer but it’s main product is under siege by the transportation shift to EV vehicles from gasoline.

 

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Name: Peter J Kight
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-11 Shares Bought: 108,577 Average Price Paid: $9.75 Cost: $1,058,270.00
Company: Repay Holdings Corp. (RPAY)
Repay Holdings Corporation is a payments technology firm that addresses vertical markets with particular transaction processing demands with integrated payment processing solutions. Customers in the personal loans, automobile loans, receivables management, and business-to-business sectors use the company’s payment processing solutions. Consumers and organizations in these verticals can use electronic payment methods thanks to its payment processing solutions. Installment loans are prevalent in the personal lending market. Subprime auto loans, vehicle title loans, and auto buy-here-pay-here loans are all part of the automotive lending vertical, which also includes near-prime and prime auto loans. Consumer loan collections are part of its receivables management segment. Transactions between a variety of enterprise customers are under the business-to-business vertical.

Since the Business Combination, Mr. Kight has served as the Chairman of the REPAY Board of Directors. Prior to that, he was the Executive Chairman of Thunder Bridge until June 2018. Mr. Kight has 34 years of expertise in the field. Since 2012, he has served as an angel investor and advisor to Commerce Ventures. This Silicon Valley-based venture capital company specializes in funding technological advancements in the retail and financial services sectors. The mid-market private investment company Comvest Partners, where Mr. Kight formerly held the positions of Co-Chairman and Managing Partner from 2010 to 2013, and Senior Advisor from 2013 to 2015. From 1981 until it was purchased by Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV) in 2007, he served as the company’s founder, chairman, and chief executive officer. CheckFree Corporation (NASDAQ: CKFR) is a provider of financial services technology. After Fiserv acquired CheckFree in 2007, Mr. Kight thereafter served as a director and vice chairman of Fiserv from 2007 until 2012

Opinion:

 

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Name: Mcdonald John T
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-08-17 Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $11.31 Cost: $226,200.00

Transaction Date: 2022-08-23 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $11.33 Cost: $113,307.00

Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 30,000 Average Price Paid: $10.82 Cost: $324,600.00
Company: Upland Software Inc. (UPLD)
Upland Software, Inc. is a cloud-based enterprise work management software provider with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries. Under the Upland brand, it provides a suite of software products in marketing, sales, contact center, project management, information technology, business operations, human resources, and legal. In addition, the firm offers professional services such as implementation, data extraction, integration and setup, and training, as well as client support. Through direct and indirect sales organizations, it serves large global corporations, various government agencies, and small and medium-sized businesses, as well as the financial, consulting, technology, manufacturing, media, telecommunications, political, healthcare, life sciences, retail and hospitality, and non-profit industries. In November 2013, the firm changed its name from Silverback Enterprise Group, Inc. to Upland Software, Inc. Upland Software, Inc. was founded in 2010 and is based in Austin, Texas.

Since its inception in July 2010, John T. McDonald has served as a Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. Prior to creating Upland in 2010, Mr. McDonald was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Perficient, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRFT), an information technology consulting business, from 1999 to 2009. From 1987 until 1993, Mr. McDonald worked as an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York, focused on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. Mr. McDonald served as chairman of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and on the boards of many privately owned firms and non-profit organizations. Mr. McDonald graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in Economics and a J.D. from Fordham Law School.

Opinion: This looks like a money maker from this depressed level, and we’re betting on it.

 

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Name: Daniel Harris Meyer
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-18 Shares Bought: 32,500 Average Price Paid: $7.62 Cost: $247,650.00
Company: Olo Inc. (OLO)
In the US, Olo Inc. offers a software-as-a-service platform for restaurants with many locations. Through online and mobile ordering modules, the company’s technology enables on-demand commerce activities, which include digital ordering and delivery. Among its modules are Order Management, an on-demand digital commerce and channel management solution that enables customers to order directly from restaurants and pay through mobile, web, kiosk, voice, and other digital channels; and Delivery Enablement, a network aggregator and channel management solution that enables restaurants to offer, manage, and expand direct delivery as well as allows restaurants to control and syndicate menu, pricing, and other information. The company also offers a Front-of-House solution, which enables restaurants to streamline the queue orders from various sales channels, a Customer Engagement solution, a suite of restaurant-centric marketing and sentiment solutions, a Payment solution, a payment platform that offers fraud prevention, and a Payment solution, which results in higher authorization rates for legitimate transactions.

Since October 2014, Daniel Meyer has been a part of the board of directors. Mr. Meyer is the founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, or USHG, which includes the following eateries: Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, The Modern, the Cafes at MOMA, Maialino, Untitled, Studio Cafe, Porchlight, Marta, Cafe Marchio, Vini E Fritti, Maialino Mare, and Daily Provisions. USHG also owns and operates an event services company called Union Square Events. There are 28 James Beard Awards that have been given to the restaurants. In addition, Mr. Meyer founded Shake Shack, where he currently serves as chairman of the board. From 2013 to 2017, Mr. Meyer sat on the boards of directors for The Container Store, Sotheby’s, and OpenTable. He has also held positions with Trinity College, Share Our Strength, the Union Square Partnership, the Madison Square Park Conservancy, and NYC & Co.

Opinion: Olo probably addresses a need, but the restaurant payment and delivery space is crowded with non economic players like Door Dash and Uber, not a place I want to invest.

 

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Name: John Joseph Stephens
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-18 Shares Bought: 17,289 Average Price Paid: $7.14 Cost: $123,438.00
Transaction Date: 2022-08-17 Shares Bought: 13,216 Average Price Paid: $6.91 Cost: $91,381.00
Transaction Date: 2022-08-23 Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $6.54 Cost: $163,455.00
Company: Solid Power Inc. (SLDP)
For the American market for battery-powered electric vehicles, Solid Power, Inc. focuses on the development and commercialization of all-solid-state battery cells and solid electrolyte materials. The business was established in 2011 and had its corporate headquarters in Louisville, Colorado. The leading manufacturer of all-solid-state rechargeable batteries for the mobile power and electric vehicle sectors is Solid Power. In a typical lithium-ion battery, the flammable liquid electrolyte is swapped out for a solid electrolyte made of sulfide by Solid Power. Because of this, Solid Power’s all-solid-state batteries can deliver an energy density increase of 50–75% when compared to the best rechargeable batteries currently on the market, are compatible with conventional lithium-ion manufacturing processes, and are safer and more stable over a wider temperature range.

Our Lead Independent Director and Class III Director is John Stephens. Since September 2021, he has been on our board of directors. Over 35 years of accounting and finance experience are brought by Mr. Stephens, including knowledge of financial planning, business planning, corporate development, accounting and accounting policy, tax, auditing, treasury, investor relations, corporate real estate, and financial, operational, and regulatory reporting. Particularly, Mr. Stephens left AT&T, Inc. Prior to that; he held a number of successive roles in the financial division of AT&T, Inc., where he served as its Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from March 2021. Mr. Stephens served in a number of positions in public accounting prior to joining AT&T, Inc. in 1992. Mr. Stephens is the chairman of the audit committee of Freeport-McMoRan Inc, where he is a member of the board of directors.

Opinion: The biotech equivalent of a battery play. I prefer to invest in Fluence or Orion Engineered Carbon versus pre-revenue names like Solid Power.

Name: David K. Sherman
Position: CEO/10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-08-18 Shares Bought: 266,500 Average Price Paid: $5.37 Cost: $1,430,839.00
Company: ENDI Corp. (ENDI)

Name: Thomas A Mcdonnell
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-18 Shares Bought: 60,000 Average Price Paid: $5.37 Cost: $322,140.00
Company: ENDI Corp. (ENDI)
Asset management and internet access services are offered by Endi Corp. Fund management services, as well as operational, marketing, and investor relations support services for specialized fund managers, which are all part of the company’s asset management offerings. Additionally, it offers a range of ancillary services throughout the US and Canada, including managed modem wholesale, consumer and business-grade internet access, web hosting, and reselling third-party software. The business is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and was established in 2021.

Cohanzick Management, LLC’s president, is David Sherman. Mr. Sherman has over 25 years of expertise in financial management. Prior to founding Cohanzick, Mr. Sherman was a senior executive actively involved in the corporate investments and acquisitions of Leucadia National Corporation and served as Treasurer of the holding company’s insurance activities. Having graduated from Washington University with a B.S.

Thomas A. McDonnell has been on the boards of Euronet’s predecessor businesses and has been a director of Euronet since its establishment in December 1996. Since September 2014, he has served as Lead Independent Director. He was Chief Executive Officer of DST Systems, Inc., a former stockholder of Euronet, from October 1984 to September 12, 2012. He held this position from September 12, 2012, to December 31, 2012, for DST Systems, Inc. He held the position of Treasurer for DST Systems, Inc. from 1973 to September 1995. Mr. McDonnell served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation from January 1, 2013, until his departure on December 31, 2014. At the moment, Mr. McDonnell serves as a director for Kansas City Southern and is a member of the audit committee. Mr. McDonnell holds a B.S. in accounting from Rockhurst University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Finance.

Opinion:

 

Finviz Chart

Name: William C Martin
Position: Chief Strategy Officer
Transaction Date: 2022-08-18 Shares Bought: 117,285 Average Price Paid: $5.32 Cost: $623,877.00
Company: Immersion Corp. (IMMR)

Name: Eric Singer
Position: Chairman
Transaction Date: 2022-08-18 Shares Bought: 119,117 Average Price Paid: $5.21 Cost: $620,617.00
Company: Immersion Corp. (IMMR)
Immersion Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, develops, scales, and licenses haptic technologies that enable people in North America, Europe, and Asia to interact with and experience diverse digital goods using their sense of touch. Technology, patent, and mixed licensing are all available through the firm. It also offers software development kits (SDKs) that include tools, integration software, and effect libraries for designing, encoding, and playing back tactile effects in the video. In addition, the firm provides reference designs and reference technologies, as well as engineering and integration services, as well as software and firmware services.

Indie Research LLC, Princeton Equity Group, LLC, and Raging Bull, Inc. are among the five firms he founded. William Charles Martin is the Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Raging Capital Management LLC (which he formed in 2006) and the Director and Chief Strategy Officer of Immersion Corp., both of which he founded. Mr. Martin’s past positions include Chairman of the Jumpstart New Jersey Angel Network LLC, Principal of Indie Research LLC (which he started in 2010), and Partner of Princeton Equity Group, LLC (he founded the company in 2013).

Eric Brandon Singer, an American entrepreneur who founded VIEX Capital Advisors LLC and has led five different businesses, serves as Executive Chairman for Immersion Corp. and Managing Member at VIEX Capital Advisors LLC. A10 Networks, Inc.’s board of directors also includes Mr. Singer. In the past, he has worked as a Chairman at Sigma Designs, Inc., General Partner for Potomac Capital Partners II LP, General Partner for Potomac Capital Partners Iii LP, Co-Managing Member at Potomac Capital Management Ii LLC, Co-Managing Member at Potomac Capital Management Iii LLC, Managing Member at Vertex Gp LLC, General Partner of Viex Opportunities Fund, LP, Chairman of RhythmOne Ltd., Chairman for YuMe, Inc. Mr. Singer graduated from Brandeis University with a bachelor’s degree.

Opinion: Patent troll IMMR sold Meta this year. If they should be successful in the suit, the stock will move. Otherwise this is dead money.

 

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Name: Charles K. Cohn
Position: CEO/10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-08-20 Shares Bought: 5,000,000 Average Price Paid: $3.50 Cost: $17,500,000.00
Company: Nerdy Inc. (NRDY)
The platform for live online learning is operated by Nerdy, Inc. By linking students of different ages to specialists, the company’s purpose-built proprietary platform uses technology, including AI, to provide value on both sides of the network. Its learning destination offers learning opportunities in a range of disciplines and formats, including individualized teaching, small-group instruction, large-group instruction, and adaptive self-study. Varsity Tutors, the company’s main operation, delivers platforms for real-time online classes and tutoring. Both via schools and other institutions as well as directly to students, it offers answers. The business was established in 2007 and had its corporate headquarters in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Chuck Cohn is the company’s founder, chairman, and CEO (parent company of Varsity Tutors). Chuck started the business in 2007 while still a junior in college after finding it difficult to get the individualized assistance he required for a calculus course. Early in his career, he worked in healthcare private equity at Ascension Ventures and energy & power investment banking at Wells Fargo Securities (Wachovia). At the end of 2011, Chuck left his position as a private equity analyst to devote all of his time to growing Nerdy. Chuck bootstrapped the company. Chuck, who resides in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife and three kids, is a member of the leadership council of the Danforth Plant Science Center as well as the board of the Washington University in St. Louis’ Entrepreneurship Program. Chuck graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BSBA in Finance & Entrepreneurship.

Opinion: No debt, strong growth Q2 over Q2 2021, yet the stock tumbled on the news. Perhaps it’s because the company is still projecting negative EBITDA, has two separate classes of stock, and is competing in a highly competitive field. I really don’t know, but when an insider buys $17 million of his stock and certainly doesn’t need more, you have to take notice. I’ve put this one on the study list for now. I’ll scan the recent 10Q, maybe Seeking Alpha, but certainly find time to listen to the recent quarterly earnings call.

 

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Name: James Huang
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-24 Shares Bought: 44,527 Average Price Paid: $3.75 Cost: $166,930.00
Transaction Date:
2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 234,221 Average Price Paid: $3.33 Cost: $779,477.00
Company: CASI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CASI)
A biopharmaceutical firm called CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. creates and markets pharmaceutical and therapeutic products in China, the US, and other countries. It provides EVOMELA, an intravenous melphalan formulation, for use as a conditioning therapy before stem cell transplantation and as palliative therapy for multiple myeloma patients. CNCT19, an autologous CD19 CAR-T investigative product for the treatment of patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (B-ALL) and B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL), is part of the company’s product pipeline. CB-5339, which is in Phase I clinical trial for acute myeloid leukaemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, and BI-1206, which is in Phase I/II trial in combination with the anti-PD1 therapy Keytruda for solid tumours and in Phase I/IIa trial in combination with MabThera (rituximab) in patients with relapsed/refractory NHL.

Since April 2013, Mr. Huang has served as a director of the company. In 2011, Mr. Huang became a managing partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers China, where he concentrates on the company’s life sciences practice. His primary financial interests are in healthcare innovation for China’s expanding market and in assisting business owners in creating successful enterprises. James was a managing partner at Vivo Ventures, a venture capital company that specialized in health sciences investments, before joining KPCB China. James oversaw various investments in China when he was with Vivo. James served as president of Anesiva, a biopharmaceutical firm specializing in pain management therapies, before joining Vivo in 2007. He has held top positions in business development, sales, marketing, and R&D over his 20-year career in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors with Tularik Inc. (acquired by Amgen), GlaxoSmithKline LLC, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and ALZA Corp. James Huang is also a founding partner of Panacea Venture. This worldwide venture capital firm invests in cutting-edge, game-changing, early-stage healthcare and life science businesses.

Opinion: I’ve lost more money on CASI than any stock still in my portfolio.  CASI is the case study on how you can lose your shirt betting on insiders if you don’t diversify. This is a case of a great story, enormous insider buying, a poorly performing stock sector, and things in China spiraling outside your control. I continue to buy shares even after the 1-10 reverse split. It was good to see insiders still keeping the faith.  CASI can go up 10-fold for starters, maybe 100-fold. Promising CAR T biotech development companies are being sold for $4-$6 billion dollars. CASI has a market cap under $50 million. You can do the math.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: David L Sze
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-19 Shares Bought: 765,000 Average Price Paid: $3.31 Cost: $2,534,369.00
Company: Nextdoor Holdings Inc. (KIND)
The neighborhood network operated by Nextdoor Holdings, Inc. links local residents, companies, and government agencies both domestically and abroad. It makes it possible for huge brands, government organizations, NGOs, small and medium-sized enterprises, and public agencies to connect, share, and receive information. The business’s main office is in San Francisco, California.

Since November 2021, David Sze has been a member of the board of directors. Since joining Greylock Partners as a general partner in 2000, Mr. Sze has been responsible for managing investments in entrepreneurial and consumer technology firms. He formerly held the position of Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at the content online portal Excite and Excite@Home. Previously, he was a member of the LinkedIn and Pandora Media, Inc. boards of directors. He also serves on the Yale University and Rockefeller University boards of trustees. Mr. Sze sits on the boards of directors for a number of private consumer technology businesses. He graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University with an M.B.A. We think Mr. Sze is eligible to be a member of the board of directors due to his vast experience in investing in and counseling consumer-oriented internet and technology businesses.

Opinion: I really don’t understand la raison d’etre. I’ll pass.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: David Kamenetzky
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-08-17 Shares Bought: 91,832 Average Price Paid: $2.47 Cost: $226,559.00
Company: Bark Inc. (BARK)
Dog-focused business BARK Inc. offers goods, services, and information for canines. Direct to Consumer and Commerce are its two operating segments. The business offers monthly subscription services for pets. In order to promote the health and happiness of dogs everywhere, it also works on the creation of playstyle-specific toys, delicious treats, customized diet plans with supplements, and dog-first experiences. Additionally, the business sells dog beds, bowls, collars, harnesses, and leashes under the BARK Home brand, as well as monthly themed boxes of toys and treats under the BarkBox and Super Chewer names. It also sells personalized meal plans under the BARK Food name and health and wellness products under the BARK Bright name. Furthermore, BarkShop.com is where the business distributes BARK Home items. Additionally, it provides personalized collections to brick and mortar stores and online markets.

The boards of Kühne + Nagel International AG, Kühne + Nagel AG, Wedgewood Village Pharmacy, Inc., and BARK, Inc. all include David Kamenetzky. Mr. Kamenetzky has held positions such as vice president of corporate strategy and corporate affairs at Mars, chief strategy and external affairs officer at Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, chairman, and CEO of JAB Holding Co. LLC, and president of Zentralrat Der Juden in Deutschland in the past. David Kamenetzky graduated from Georgetown University with a master’s degree after earning his undergraduate degree from the University of St. Gallen.

Opinion: Another unneeded mousetrap.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Matthew Neagle
Position: Chief Operating Officer
Transaction Date: 2022-08-22 Shares Bought:100,000 Average Price Paid: $2.20 Cost: $219,760.00
Company: Porch Group Inc. (PRCH)
In the US and Canada, Porch Group, Inc. manages a software platform. The business is divided into two segments: insurance and vertical software. Homebuyers and homeowners have early access through the Vertical Software division, which also offers software and services to home service providers. Customers, including purchasers and homeowners, service providers, including moving, insurance, warranty, and security firms, as well as home service companies like house inspectors, are all served by it. Through the names Floify, HireAHelper, ISN, iRoofing, Palm-Tech, Porch.com, Rynoh, and V12, this section does business. The Insurance business provides risk-bearing home warranty companies, as well as our own risk-bearing carrier and independent agency, with property-related insurance products. Through the names Homeowners of America, Elite Insurance Group, and American Home Protect, this division operates. The business also offers contractor services as well as products for property and casualty, house, vehicle, flood, and umbrella insurance. The business was established in 2011 and had its corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

Matthew oversees business operations and leads initiatives to promote organic development for Porch’s software and service platform. He formerly held the positions of Vice President, Operations for Porch from 2014 to 2016, Chief Customer Officer for Porch from 2016 to 2017, and Chief Revenue Officer for Porch from 2017 to 2020. Prior to joining Porch, Matthew worked for Google and Amazon, where he oversaw teams that assisted small companies in acquiring and retaining consumers online using AdWords. At Amazon, he oversaw the introduction of the Kindle into shops in China, India, and Japan. The largest student organization in the world, AIESEC, has long had Matthew as a leader, sponsor, and alumni. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A., a B.S.E., and an M.B.A.

Opinion: Pass

 


 

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Director Martin R Brad purchased 1,500 shares at $143.41 of $FDX
Opinion: The stock cratered when it announced “First quarter results were adversely impacted by global volume softness that accelerated in the final weeks of the quarter. Full article at: https://www.theinsidersfund.com/2022/10/insider-buying-week-9-30-22/

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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.

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.

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, 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. The charts we distribute are supplied by Finviz.

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, or none at all in any of these names, and are under no obligation to disclose that. We welcome your comments on our analysis.  You should not confuse this newsletter with the hedge fund I manage.

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