This week’s Insider Report marks the end of an experiment with a paid subscription service. From here on out the Insiders Report is free and I am relieved of my weekend chores. I’ll still continue to blog on insider buying and selling as my time permits.

I’ve written numerous times that all bear markets in the last 20 years have ended with a crescendo of insider buying.  The number of insiders buying picked up dramatically last week some with household names like Boeing and CME Group.  There are finally some reasons to be hopeful that this miserable year of investing might be seeing more than a bear market bounce.

The price action of the market has truly been remarkable. The S&P 500 tacked on 5.57% last week and is now down  ~16% YTD.  I doubt if this kind of upward velocity can be sustained much further. Too much and too soon is likely to dampen insider enthusiasm.  Last week notable insider buys were up on average by 15.49%. I’m sure Federal Reserve Chairman Powell won’t be crowing about this ebullient stock market makes. Rising equity prices makes his inflation fighting job harder.

You can expect some jawboning from the Fed about no pivot on interest rates, but the bottom line is that the market really doesn’t believe the Fed can move rates much higher without violating their dual mandate, full employment, and stable prices.  Silicon Valley heavyweights like Twitter and Facebook are dumping employees, and Apple, Google, and others are enacting freezes.  You can expect most public and private tech companies to follow. The Grinch has arrived in Silicon Valley.

This brings me to the conclusion that the market is correctly sniffing out the peak in inflation and the softening of the labor market. I also know that too much of a good thing will send insiders back into their shells and what goes up too fast can come down pretty quickly. The retreat from Kherson marks a new phase in this horrible war between Russia and Ukraine. The Democrats holding the line gives me hope that Democracy still has some breathing room.

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 at calendly.com/hsax/phone

Prosperous Trading,

Harvey Sax

 

 

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Name: Richard F Wallman
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 1,000 Average Price Paid: $390 Cost: $390,000.00
Company: Roper Technologies Inc (ROP)
Roper Technologies, Inc. is a diversified technology corporation with companies that create engineered products, solutions, and software (both licensed and Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”)) for a range of specialized end markets. By focusing on continuous improvement in the operating performance of the existing businesses and by acquiring other businesses that offer high-value-added software, services, engineered products, and solutions that the company believes are capable of achieving growth and maintaining high margins, the company pursues consistent and sustainable growth in earnings and cash flow. The market leader or a viable alternative to the market leader in most of the specialized areas in which the company competes.

From March 1995 through July 2003, Mr. Wallman held the positions of Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Honeywell International Inc., a diversified industrial technology and manufacturing corporation, and its precursor AlliedSignal. With IBM and Chrysler Corporation, Mr. Wallman also held top finance responsibilities. Extended Stay America, Inc., Wright Medical Group (formerly Tornier N.V.), Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., and Boart Longyear all have Mr. Wallman on their boards of directors.

Opinion: I can’t read much from the tea leaves here except that Wallman has sold stock at much higher prices. This might just be an opportunistic timing buy for him, so I wouldn’t chase it up 12.40% over his buy price.

 

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Name: William R Shepard
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-01-14 Shares Bought: $170.00 Average Price Paid: $170.00 Cost: $8,269,636.00
Company: Cme Group Inc. (CME)
By trading futures, options, cash, and over-the-counter products, CME Group offers market participants worldwide the flexibility to manage risk effectively inside and across numerous asset classes. CME Group offers primary price discovery and referential pricing information by providing market data in a range of forms, including real-time, historical, and derived data for clients in both listed and cash products. To give consumers access to resources for market education, CME Group also provides industry-leading research and analytics solutions. The largest global benchmark products are available on CME Group exchanges in interest rates, stock indices, foreign exchange (FX), agricultural commodities, energy, and metals. Additionally, the firm provides cash and OTC FX trading through EBS and cash and Repo fixed-income trading through BrokerTec. Additionally, the business runs CME Clearing, one of the world’s top central counterparty clearing providers.

For more than 45 years, Mr. Shepard has been a CME member. In the past, from 2002 to 2007, he was the Second Vice Chairman. Shepard International, Inc., a futures commission merchant, was founded by Mr. Shepard, who also serves as its president. Mr. Shepard is the committee’s chairperson for the clearing house. William R. Shepard established Shepard International, Inc. He formerly worked at Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc. as a Director.

Opinion: We’re all in on this one and candidly are surprised about such a weak market reaction to this large buy. This was the biggest purchase long-time director Shepard has made at the Company. CME Group reported its October 2022 market statistics, showing average daily volume increased 11% to 22.7M contracts during the month, representing the company’s highest October volume on record.  The days of near-zero interest rates and lack of volatility certainly seem over, and this will be a tailwind as they have almost a monopoly on trading interest rate futures, S&P futures, and other indices. 

The collapse of FTX can only be a positive for the relative security of their own regulated futures exchange traded BitCoin product. There is a huge effort underway to move unregulated cryptocurrencies and coins to some kind of regulated structure. To the degree that this is successful, CME is the most likely beneficiary as the regulator would almost certainly be the US Futures market, CFTC. The Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) regulates the trading of commodity futures in the United States. CME is where the only CFTC-regulated bitcoin contract is currently traded. The potential and size of this market are impossible to know but it could either be huge, a bust, or just moderate success.  CME could be a significant beneficiary of the recent turmoil in the crypto market.

According to JP Morgan research Downside risks to the stock include a return to a lower interest rate. CME’s interest rate futures trading business is its largest by volume and revenue.

Bear Case: They also have concerns about underlying organic growth. Merril Lynch has an underperform, and CFRA has an outright Sell citing Our risk assessment reflects potential volatility in results due to changes in futures trading volumes and a changing regulatory environment. CME is the largest futures exchange in the world with a strong franchise, but with the largest proportion of revenue derived from trading (85%) among peers, it is beholden to swings in volume and volatility as well as competition from established and new competitors. Although CME enjoys high margins, its cost structure is largely fixed, exacerbating the declines in trading volume and revenue.

 

 

 

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Name: David L Calhoun
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $158.88 Cost: $3,972,028.00
Company: Boeing Co (BA)

Name: Steven M Mollenkopf
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 1,285 Average Price Paid: $157.09 Cost: $201,861.00
Company: Boeing Co (BA)
The Boeing Company and its affiliates make up one of the largest aerospace companies in the world. Specifically for the global commercial airline sector, the Commercial Airplanes Segment designs, manufacture, and distributes commercial jet aircraft and offers fleet support services. The defense, Space & Security Segment works on crewed and uncrewed military aircraft and weapons systems for a strike, surveillance, and mobility, including fighter and trainer aircraft; vertical lift, including rotorcraft and tilt-rotor aircraft; and commercial derivative aircraft, including anti-submarine and tanker aircraft. The Global Services Segment offers services to both defense and commercial clients all around the world. Supply chain and logistics management, engineering, maintenance and modifications, upgrades and conversions, spare parts, pilot and maintenance training systems and services, technical and maintenance documents, data analytics, and digital services are just a few of the many products and services that BGS offers to sustain aerospace platforms and systems.

Businessman David L. Calhoun has held executive positions in 18 different organizations. He is now president, chief executive officer, and a director of the Boeing Company, chairman and CEO of Nielsen Finance LLC, and CEO of NetRatings LLC. Additionally, Mr. Calhoun serves on the boards of Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, Inc., King Holdings Ltd., and Caterpillar, Inc. Mr. Calhoun has held several leadership positions in the past, including non-executive chairman of Gates Global, executive chairman of Nielsen Holdings Plc, chairman of The Nielsen Company, executive chairman and CEO of Nielsen NV, and chairman-executive board and CEO of The Nielsen Co. Blackstone, Inc.’s Senior Managing Director, BV Independent Chairman of Gates Corporation and Chairman at Gates Industrial Corporation, Chairman and CEO of The Nielsen Co., President and CEO of GE Aviation Systems North America, President and CEO of GE Lighting Solutions, President and CEO of GE Transportation, President, and CEO of GE Infrastructure Co., President, and CEO of GE Infrastructure, President and CEO of GE Infrastructure.

Mr. Mollenkopf can offer the Board valuable insights in areas like engineering leadership, risk management, managing a complex business with a global reach, and overseeing massive initiatives to develop and test new technologies thanks to his experience as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Qualcomm. This manufacturing company is driven by engineering and high technology. Mr. Mollenkopf, a seasoned engineer who joined Qualcomm more than 25 years ago, has direct leadership experience and skills in precision engineering, project management, manufacturing, quality control, and developing testing procedures for complicated systems. In addition to being an inventor on 38 patents in fields including power estimation and measurement, multi-standard transmitters, and wireless communication transceiver technology, Mr. Mollenkopf is a published author with the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). He graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and the University of Michigan with a master’s in electrical engineering.

Opinion: Boeing’s long-suffering winter may be thawing out. Commercial aerospace seems to be on the rise, and  30% of revenue comes from defense spending which seems to be on a cyclical upswing due to the war in Ukraine. We don’t like chasing stocks, but Boeing is taking off.

 

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Name: Shiu Leung Chan
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 4,500 Average Price Paid: $76.00 Cost: $341,994.00
Company: Super Micro Computer Inc. (SMCI)
Based in Silicon Valley, Super Micro Computer Inc. offers accelerated compute platforms: high-performance, high-efficiency server and storage systems optimized for specific applications. These platforms are used in various markets, including enterprise data centers, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 5G, and edge computing. When discussing total IT solutions, it is important to note that this includes full servers, storage systems, modular blade servers, blades, workstations, complete rack scale plug-and-play solutions delivering pre-defined and pre-tested full rack scale solutions, networking devices, server sub-systems, system management, and security software. Additionally, the business offers customers worldwide assistance with installing, upgrading, and maintaining their computer infrastructure. By offering a wide range of server models and configurations, the firm gives its clients a high degree of customization and freedom to select the best options for their computing requirements. High levels of dependability, quality, configurability, and scalability are provided by the architecturally designed server and storage systems, sub-systems, and accessories.

Shiu Leung (Fred) Chan is the founder and currently the president of KCR Development, Inc. Mr. Chan has more than three decades of expertise as an entrepreneur and in the high-technology industry. From 2015 until 2019, he most recently served as chairman of ESS Technology, Inc., a privately held semiconductor business he had created. From 1995 through 2008, ESS Technology was a publicly traded business on Nasdaq. During that time, he held several top management positions, including the chairman, president, and chief executive officer, as well as serving as a director. Additionally, Mr. Chan has held the positions of chairman of a privately held consumer electronics business, founder and executive officer of a VLSI chip design center offering computer-aided design, engineering, and other design services, and co-founder and executive officer of a business engaged in the development of computer-aided engineering systems. Mr. Chan graduated from the University of Hawaii with a B.S.E.E. and an M.S.C.

Opinion: Another director sold 44,000 shares at $75 pretty much eliminating any reading of these tea leaves for me.

 

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Name: Franklin Myers
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-10 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $60.88 Cost: $608,800.00
Company: HF Sinclair Corp. (DINO)
HollyFrontier Corp. and Holly Energy Partners, with interests and assets in Oklahoma, have established HF Sinclair Corp. as their new parent holding company after acquiring Sinclair Oil Corp. and Sinclair Transportation from The Sinclair Companies. HF Sinclair will continue to operate refineries in Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Wyoming, Washington, and Utah, with refined products distributed in 19 states. It will also sell fuel to more than 1,300 Sinclair-branded stations across the country and license the Sinclair brand to more than 300 locations. In Oklahoma and other states, the corporation will also provide petroleum product and crude oil transportation, storage, and throughput services to the petroleum industry.

Mr. Myers has served as the Company’s Chairperson on the Board of Directors Since February 2019. Mr. Myers has been a senior advisor at Quantum Energy Partners, a private equity business. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Myers worked as an operating adviser for Paine & Partners, LLC, a private equity company; from 2008 to 2009; he worked as a Senior Advisor for Cameron International Corporation, a publicly listed manufacturer of flow equipment products. From 2003 to 2008, he worked as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Cameron, as well as President of Cameron’s compression business from 1998 to 2001 and Senior Vice President and General Counsel from 1995 to 1999. Mr. Myers also worked as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Baker Hughes Incorporated from 1988 to 1995 and for Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright) from 1978 to 1988 as an associate and, eventually, a partner.

Opinion: Business is good and likely to stay good according to this Director’s view.

 

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Name: Martin S. Harrell
Position: President Waterproofing
Transaction Date: 2022-11-08 Shares Bought: 9,009 Average Price Paid: $55.50 Cost: $500,000.00
Company: Beacon Roofing Supply Inc. (BECN)
Beacon is the largest publicly listed distributor of roofing goods and related building supplies in North America. As of September 30, 2021, the company, which has over 90 years of experience in the building sector, operates 446 branches in all 50 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces. Over 80,000 residential and non-residential clients rely on the company’s wide selection of high-quality professional-grade exterior goods, which includes over 100,000 SKUs, to help them save time, operate more effectively, and grow their companies. The company stands out in the industry by offering clients smooth execution, useful innovation, and a hands-on approach that meets each customer’s unique demands. The company also works closely with its suppliers, who rely on it to help market their goods effectively and support improvements in goods and services that ultimately benefit the consumer.

Martin Harrell will be in charge of and report to Beacon’s new specialty waterproofing division to sharpen the focus and seize the above-market growth opportunities for waterproofing products.

Opinion: Beacon just purchased Mr. Harell’s company. He’s clearly enthusiastic about the future. I would be too if I were paid a bunch of Beacon dollars for my waterproofing company.

 

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Name: Brent R Cobb
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-07 Shares Bought: 4,000 Average Price Paid: $49.85 Cost: $199,400.00
Company: QCR Holdings Inc. (QCRH)

Name: John F Griesemer
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-03 Shares Bought: 5,500 Average Price Paid: $48.09 Cost: $264,510.00
Company: QCR Holdings Inc. (QCRH)
A multi-bank holding company with its main office in Moline, Illinois, QCR Holdings, Inc. was established in February 1993 by Delaware law. The Company decided to function under the BHCA as a financial holding company in 2016. The four wholly-owned banking subsidiaries of the Company provide services to the communities of the Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Des Moines/Ankeny, and Springfield. Guaranty Bank, the banking division of GFED, will be merged into SFCB as part of the Company’s acquisition of Guaranty Federal Bancshares, Inc. (GFED), which the Company announced would do on November 9, 2021. On August 12, 2020, the Rockford, Illinois-based Bates Companies were sold by the Company. Through the Bates Companies, the Company offered wealth management services to the Rockford community from October 1, 2018, until the date of disposal.

Brent R. Cobb serves original equipment manufacturers through assembly and supplier consolidation initiatives as the CEO of World Class Industries, a Hiawatha-based provider of value-added manufacturing services and supply chains. Vice President when he joined World Class Industries in May 2002. He was made president in 2005 and chief executive officer in 2019. Cobb also serves as chairman of Morton Industries, a pioneer in tube fabrication for industrial equipment makers. He is involved in the community and served as the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation’s previous chair and the Hiawatha Economic Development Corporation’s founding board chair. Cobb also participates in YPO Iowa and has previously held the Chapter Chair position. He currently serves on the Direct Material Supplier Council for John Deere.

John F. Griesemer has been on the Erlen Group’s board of directors since 1993 and has been the company’s president and chief executive officer since 2018. The Springfield Underground, Cold Zone, Westside Stone, and Joplin Stone are all privately controlled Erlen Group members. Mr. Griesemer graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Industrial Management and Engineering. In addition to serving as a National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association board member, he is now the Springfield Catholic Schools Board president. He previously served as the board chairman of Mercy Springfield Communities and Mercy Hospital Springfield. He has previously served on the boards of the Catholic Campus Ministries, Junior Achievement of the Ozarks, the Missouri Limestone Producers Association, and the Ozark Technical Community College Foundation.

Opinion: Too obscure

 

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Name: Esam Elashmawi
Position: VP
Transaction Date: 2022-05-06 Shares Bought: 10,570 Average Price Paid: $46.95 Cost: $496,258.00
Company: Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (LSCC)
Through distinctive programmable logic semiconductor devices, system solutions, design services, and licenses, Lattice Semiconductor Corporation and its subsidiaries create innovations that monetize. The low-power programmable leader is Lattice. The business provides network-wide customer problem-solving services for the expanding communications, computing, industrial, automotive, and consumer markets. Thanks to technology, established relationships, and dedication to top-notch service, customers can build a smart, secure, and connected world. The company’s field programmable gate array technology makes it possible to offer clients a solid, expanding base of control, connect, and compute technologies. The company is confident that numerous growth markets will enable expanding the addressable market. The following emerging trends in servers, infrastructure, and smart devices, in particular, are opportunities for Lattice, according to the company.

Esam Elashmawi is the company’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer. Mr. Elashmawi brings a wealth of experience in sales, marketing, strategic planning, and general management to his new position. Before joining Lattice, Mr. Elashmawi worked as a Senior Vice President and General Manager at Microsemi Corporation, responsible for the company’s FPGA, Storage, and Timing Solutions product lines. Esam Elashmawi comes to the job with 30 years of FPGA and industry expertise. During the last decade, he has managed and created solutions and equipment for the data center, automotive, defense, communications, and industrial markets. Since 2010, he has been Senior Vice President and General Manager at Microsemi Corporation. Mr. Elashmawi formerly worked at Actel Corporation, which Microsemi bought in 2010. He co-founded SiliconExpert Technologies, a component management software company acquired by Arrow Electronics earlier in his career.

Opinion:

 

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Name: Michael E Pegram
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $44.74 Cost: $1,118,573.00
Company: Caesars Entertainment Inc. (CZR)
The Carano family launched their gambling and hotel business, Caesars Entertainment Inc., in 1973 with the establishment of the Eldorado Hotel Casino in Reno, Nevada. Starting in 2005, the business expanded through a series of acquisitions, which included the purchases of Tropicana Entertainment, Inc. in 2018, Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. in 2017, and MTR Gaming Group, Inc. in 2014. The firm finalized the merger with Caesars Entertainment Corporation on July 20, 2020, making Former Caesars a wholly-owned subsidiary and changing the company’s ticker symbol from “ERI” to “CZR” on the NASDAQ Stock Market. The business completed the acquisition of William Hill PLC on April 22, 2021. The main source of income comes from the gaming operations on casino facilities, retail and online sports betting, and internet gaming. The company also uses hotels, restaurants, bars, entertainment, horse racing, retail stores, and other services to draw guests to the properties.

From September 2014 until July 2020, Michael E. Pegram has been a member of the Eldorado Resorts, Inc. board of directors. He was appointed to the Caesars Entertainment, Inc. board of directors at that time by the provisions of the merger agreement with Eldorado Resorts, Inc. Mr. Pegram has been a partner in the Carson City, Nevada, Bodines Casino since January 2007, and the Minden, Nevada, Carson Valley Inn since June 2009. Over more than thirty years, Mr. Pegram has owned and successfully run 25 McDonald’s franchises. Additionally, since April 1997, Mr. Pegram has been a director of Skagit State Bancorp. Because of his vast knowledge of the horse racing sector and his expertise as an investor, company owner, and director of several firms, Mr. Pegram has been chosen to hold the director position.

Opinion: The Company generated EBITDA record excluding digital. On their most recent earnings call, they said Las Vegas results were strong.  October was the strongest month in the history of Las Vegas for the company. Says no longer selling Las Vegas Strip casino.

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Name: Timothy J Warren
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-07 Shares Bought: 4,680 Average Price Paid: $38.00 Cost: $177,840.00
Company: National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA)

Name: Arlen Dale Nordhagen
Position: Chairman
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 53,000 Average Price Paid: $37.88 Cost: $2,007,640.00
Company: National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA)

Name: David Cramer
Position: COO
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $37.88 Cost: $378,800.00
Company: National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA)

Name: Mourick Mark Van
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 1,280 Average Price Paid: $37.85 Cost: $48,448.00
Company: National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA)

Name: Tamara D Fischer
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 292 Average Price Paid: $37.78 Cost: $11,032.00
Company: National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA)

Name: Paul William Jr Hylbert
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 1,350 Average Price Paid: $37.52 Cost: $50,652.00
Company: National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA)
On May 16, 2013, National Storage Affiliates Trust was established in Maryland as a fully integrated, self-administered, and self-managed real estate investment trust. To conduct the business, which is centered on the ownership, operation, and acquisition of self-storage properties primarily located within the top 100 metropolitan statistical areas across the United States, the company serves as the sole general partner of the operating partnership subsidiary, NSA OP, LP, a Delaware limited partnership formed on February 13, 2013. As of December 31, 2021, the firm has ownership stakes and was the operator of 1,050 self-storage facilities spread over 42 states and Puerto Rico.

Mr. Warren was a member of the PRO Advisory Committee from IPO in April 2015 until that point. Mr. Warren held the position of president of Three Oaks Development Co. from 1996 to 2018, a commercial real estate development firm in Portland, Oregon, that specializes in creating and leasing industrial business parks. Together with Northwest Self Storage, one of the Company’s PROs, Mr. Warren actively participated in developing and acquiring approximately 33 self-storage facilities during this time. Mr. Warren started JTW Computer Systems in 1976, which offered hardware, software, and a time-share computer environment for small to medium-sized businesses across the country, before joining Three Oaks Development Co. in 1995. Until 1995, when JTW Computer Systems was sold, Mr. Warren presided over the business. Mr. Warren earned a bachelor of science in computer science and a minor in accounting from the University of Oregon.

Arlen D. Nordhagen is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Trustees and a co-founder of NSA. Arlen co-founded SecurCare Self Storage, the forerunner of NSA, in 1988 and has worked in the self-storage sector for more than 30 years. From 1999 through 2013, he led SecurCare as president and chief executive officer. Arlen earned a master’s degree in business administration with honors from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with distinction from the University of North Dakota. Arlen founded MMM Healthcare, Inc., the largest Medicare Advantage health insurance carrier in Puerto Rico, in addition, to securing.

David G. Cramer, who joined NSA in April 2020, is the organization’s president and COO. He has also been the Best Practices Committee’s Chairman since the group’s creation. David joined SecurCare Self Storage, the organization that preceded NSA, in 1998 and has since accrued more than 24 years of expertise in the self-storage sector. He worked for SecurCare from 1998 to 2005 as director of operations, from 2005 to 2013 as a chief operating officer, and from 2013 until 2020 as president and CEO. David spent 12 years at Target before joining SecurCare Self Storage, where he held several operational and managerial responsibilities. David is now a board member of the Storage Business Owners Alliance Tenant Insurance program (SBOATI). SBOATI is a type of insurance developed by and for owners of self-storage facilities.

Mark Van Mourick is a renowned wealth manager and real estate investor with more than 40 years of experience. In 1987, Mr. Van Mourick founded Optivest Wealth Management and began overseeing the investment portfolios of a few of the richest families in the country. To acquire self-storage facilities and run them as RightSpace Storage, he and Mr. Warren Allan created Optivest Properties in 2007. National Storage Affiliates was founded in 2012 by Optivest Properties, NorthWest, and SecurCare; Mr. Van Mourick has served on the board since the company’s founding. He retired in 2019 to work with The Optivest Foundation on his charitable endeavors. He is the author of “Cash Out, Cash In – The After Success Investment Guide” and has served on the executive boards of various businesses and nonprofit organizations in addition to his knowledge of stocks and finance. Mr. Van Mourick holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in international finance and business management from the University of Southern California.

Tamara D. Fischer has worked with the National Security Agency (NSA) since its founding in 2013. She has been a trustee since January 2020 and is the current chief executive officer. From 2004 to 2008, Tamara held the positions of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Vintage Wine Trust, Inc. This real estate investment trust specializes in holdings in the American wine sector. Before joining NSA, she worked there. She worked as a consultant with Vintage Wine Trust until it was dissolved in 2010, and before getting associated with NSA, she held several other consulting posts. Tamara worked for Chateau Communities, Inc., one of the major real estate investment trusts in the manufactured home community industry, from 1993 to 2003 as executive vice president and chief financial officer. She stayed at Chateau until its 2003 sale. Before joining Chateau, she worked as a member of Coopers & Lybrand’s audit staff.

The founder of Kodiak Building Partners LLC is Paul W. Hylbert. Currently, he serves as Chairman of Kodiak Building Partners LLC and Advisor to Winona Capital Management LLC. Mr. Hylbert also serves on the boards of the Homebuilding Community Foundation and the National Storage Affiliates Trust. He is a member of Harvard University. He has held previous positions, including those of President and Co-Chief Executive Officer at PrimeSource Building Products, Inc., CEO-Europe, Lumber & Sequoia Supply at Wickes, Inc., President & CEO for Lanoga Corp., and President & CEO of ProBuild Holdings, Inc. Denison University awarded Paul W. Hylbert an undergraduate degree. In contrast, the University of Michigan awarded him an MBA.

Opinion: Great yield, lots of insiders buying. This is kind of a no-brainer if you think interest rates are near topping out as I do.

 

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Name: Barry T Smitherman
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-07 Shares Bought: 8,005 Average Price Paid: $28.38 Cost: $227,167
Company: Centerpoint Energy Inc. (CNP)
The operating subsidiaries of CenterPoint Energy own and operate natural gas distribution facilities and electric transmission, distribution, and generation facilities. They also offer energy performance contracting and sustainable infrastructure services. Houston Electric, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy, offers distribution service to REPs in the Texas gulf coast region, including Houston, and electric transmission service to customers in the ERCOT region. Bond Companies are wholly-owned, bankruptcy-remote legal entities established exclusively to acquire and possess transitional or system restoration property through the issuance of Securitization Bonds. With operating subsidiaries that own and operate permanent pipeline connections through interconnects with various interstate and intrastate pipeline companies, CERC Corp. is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy that owns and operates natural gas distribution facilities in several states.

Barry T. Smitherman is a member of the State Bar of Texas, a principal at Barry Smitherman PC, and a director of CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Mr. Smitherman has held positions such as Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, Chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, Partner at Vinson & Elkins LLP, Principal at J.P. Morgan & Co Inc, and Principal at Lazard Frères & Co. LLC in the past. Mr. Smitherman graduated from Harvard University, The University of Texas, and Texas A&M University with undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

Opinion: Utility stocks have had a big pullback with the sharp rise in interest rates. This week we have two insiders buying, VST, and CNP. We are long-term bullish on electric utilities due to the electrification of the combustion vehicle.

 

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Name: Scott B Helm
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-8 Shares Bought: 15,000 Average Price Paid: $23.74 Cost: $356,125.00
Company: Vistra Corp. (VST)
Vistra is a holding corporation that primarily serves regions across the United States with integrated retail and electric power-generating operations. Through its subsidiaries, the Company engages in competitive energy operations such as producing electricity, selling and acquiring energy at wholesale prices, managing commodity risk, and selling electricity and natural gas to end users. Delaware legislation was used to create the Company in 2016. To set itself apart from businesses engaged in the exploration, production, refining, or transportation of fossil fuels as well as to more accurately reflect its integrated business model, which combines a retail electricity and natural gas business devoted to providing its customers with cutting-edge products and services with an electric power generation business operating at the forefront of the industry, Company changed the name of Vistra Energy Corp. to Vistra Corp. as of July 2, 2020. The sustainable energy transition through the Vistra Zero portfolio while providing secure, dependable, and reasonably priced electricity to the people served.

Scott Helm is a Private investor located in Baltimore. He now serves as the Board of Directors Chair for Vistra Energy. Helm previously served as a founding partner of Energy Capital Partners, a private equity company that specialized in making investments in the energy infrastructure of North America. He worked for Orion Power Holdings, Inc., a publicly traded firm that owned and ran power plants, as executive vice president and chief financial officer before joining Energy Capital Partners. Before that, he served as a consultant to the private equity group in charge of Texas Genco’s acquisition. Helm started his career at Goldman Sachs & Co., initially working in the fixed-income department before switching to the investment banking department. He graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Helm holds the position of treasurer on the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s board.

Opinion: I think I’d wait for a little pullback.

 

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Name: Thomas L Carter Jr
Position: CEO/Chairman
Transaction Date: 2022-11-03 Shares Bought: 50,000 Average Price Paid: $19.37 Cost: $968,743.00
Company: Black Stone Minerals L.P. (BSM)
One of the biggest owners and managers of oil and natural gas mineral holdings in the United States is Black Stone Minerals L.P. The company’s main activity is to actively manage and increase the value of current mineral and royalty assets while broadening the asset base via purchasing new mineral and royalty holdings. The company increases value by advertising the available mineral assets for lease, creatively arranging the lease conditions to promote and speed up drilling activities, and carefully choosing which lessees to engage with on a working interest basis. The company believes that its extensive and well-diversified asset base, along with its long-lived, non-cost-bearing mineral and royalty interests, will provide consistent production and reserves over time, allowing it to transfer the vast majority of its produced cash flow to unitholders.

From November 2014 through June 2018, Mr. Carter held the positions of President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the General Partner. BSMC, our predecessor, was established by Mr. Carter, who also served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of Black Stone Natural Resources, L.L.C, the former general partner of BSMC, from 1998 to 2015. Mr. Carter also formed BSMC. From 1987 until 1992, Mr. Carter served as managing general partner of W.T. Carter & Bro., the predecessor to the general partner, and from 1980 till the present of Black Stone Energy Company. Black Stone Energy Company, BSMC’s operational and exploration subsidiary, was established by Mr. Carter in 1980. After holding several previous positions beginning in 1975, Mr. Carter worked as a lending officer for the Energy Department of Texas Commerce Bank in Houston, Texas, from 1978 to 1980. The University of Texas at Austin awarded Mr. Carter a B.B.A. and an MBA. Since 2005, Mr. Carter has served as a director of Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. He has been a St. Edward’s University Trustee since 2009.

Opinion: An oil and gas royalty trust paying almost 10% is a buy.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Guy Melamed
Position: CFO/COO
Transaction Date: 2022-11-03 Shares Bought: 14,285 Average Price Paid: $17.50 Cost: $249,988.00
Company: Varonis Systems Inc (VRNS)

Name: Avrohom J. Kess
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-03 Shares Bought: 1,650 Average Price Paid: $17.46 Cost: $28,809.00
Company: Varonis Systems Inc (VRNS)

Name: Yakov Faitelson
Position: CEO/Chairman
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 21,731 Average Price Paid: $16.03 Cost: $348,348.00
Company: Varonis Systems Inc (VRNS)
In contrast to traditional cybersecurity firms, Varonis is a pioneer in data security and analytics. The Company is a pioneer since it was recognized more than 15 years ago that a business’s power to produce and exchange data greatly outstripped that of the enterprise to secure it. According to the organization, the global economy and the risk profiles of businesses and governments will alter due to rapid data expansion and growing reliance on the information. Over time, this conviction has only become stronger. Since the Company’s inception, the emphasis has been on employing innovation to address the cyber implications of these developments, leading to the development of software that offers fresh ways to monitor, notify, and safeguard data wherever it may be kept. As businesses worldwide experience a wave of digital transformation projects that have substantially changed how they must handle data security, the Company has witnessed a trend that has accelerated as data expands in new and old data storage both on-premises and in the cloud. These data repositories enable quick collaboration from a hybrid workforce, but as they expand in size and importance, the connections between the data they contain and the people who utilize it get more intricate, making it challenging to perceive, comprehend, and manage without automation.

Guy Melamed is Varonis’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. He manages finances, carries out corporate objectives, and oversees legal, treasury, investor relations, and buying around the globe. Since 2011, Guy Melamed has held numerous finance positions, most recently as Vice President of Finance, where he was in charge of financial planning, reporting, and operations. He also played a key role in creating and overseeing the worldwide finance organization during this period. Guy Melamed worked with local and international public and private firms as an audit manager at Ernst & Young and KPMG before joining Varonis. Guy Melamed is a Certified Public Accountant in the United States and Israel and possesses both a B.A. and an M.S.A. from Boston College.

Mr. Avrohom J. Kess is a Vice Chairman and Chief Legal Officer at The Travelers Cos., Inc. At Varonis Systems, Inc., he serves on the board of directors. Before this, Mr. Kess worked for The Conference Board, Inc. as a Counsel and Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Brooklyn College awarded him his undergraduate degree, and the New York University School of Law awarded him his graduate degree.

Yakov is in charge of managing, determining the strategic course, and carrying out the Varonis vision. Yaki saw the need and potential for data-centric security automation due to her significant cross-functional experience in cybersecurity, networking, operating systems, business applications, and storage. Together with Ohad Korkus, he and Ohad Korkus developed the MetaData Framework technology, which is currently the cornerstone of the Varonis Data Security Platform and is covered by several patents for data analysis, simulation, and visualization of permissions. Under his direction, Varonis has grown exponentially, developed a global clientele, and established a dominant position in the cybersecurity industry. Yaki formerly held executive positions with NetVision and Network Appliance’s global professional services and systems integration businesses.

Opinion: Varonis had a disastrous quarter with multiple analyst downgrades.  The stock responded with three insiders buying whose investments are up 18-29% since purchasing it.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Warren Kelcy L
Position: Chairman
Transaction Date: 2022-11-07 Shares Bought: 1,200,000 Average Price Paid: $12.35 Cost: $14,824,650
Company: Energy Transfer LP. (ET)
Energy Transfer LP, a Delaware limited partnership, trades its common units. Additionally, the corporation has assets in other companies, such as publicly listed master limited partnerships Sunoco LP and USAC. Cash flow for Energy Transfer comes from distributions relating to its ownership in its subsidiaries, such as USAC and Sunoco LP. Energy Transfer’s main liquidity needs include distribution to partners, general and administrative costs, and debt servicing obligations. After satisfying the liquidity above criteria, Energy Transfer distributes any remaining cash to its unitholders every quarter.

Kelcy L. Warren is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Energy Transfer LP and has been a leader in the energy industry for nearly 40 years. Mr. Warren co-founded Energy Transfer in 1996, which began as a small intrastate natural gas pipeline operator and is now one of the industry’s largest and most diversified publicly traded energy companies. Today, the Energy Transfer family of partnerships includes Energy Transfer LP, Sunoco LP, and USA Compression Partners LP.

Opinion: This really isn’t difficult. Kelcy has been buying $millions of dollars worth of a company that he has $billions invested in. It yields over 8%, and the country is woefully short of energy infrastructure. New England is threatened this Winter by soaring natural gas and heating oil prices because they can’t compete for LNG. We need pipelines, and that’s what Energy Transfer does.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Keinan Elly
Position: Group President
Transaction Date: 2022-05-13 Shares Bought: 26,000 Average Price Paid: $11.40 Cost: $296,351.00
Company: Kyndryl Holdings Inc. (KD)

Name: Martin J Schroeter
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-05-13 Shares Bought: 83,700 Average Price Paid: $11.35 Cost: $950,280.00
Company: Kyndryl Holdings Inc. (KD)

Name: David B Wyshner
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2022-05-12 Shares Bought: 24,080 Average Price Paid: $10.47 Cost: $252,103.00
Company: Kyndryl Holdings Inc. (KD)
Kyndryl Holdings, Inc. is a global technology service firm and provider of IT infrastructure services. Cloud services, core enterprise and cloud services, application, data, and artificial intelligence services, digital workplace services, security and resiliency services, and network and edge services are all available from the organization. Financial, telecommunications, retail, car, and transportation businesses are also served. The firm was founded in the year 2020 and is based in New York, New York.

Kyndryl’s Group President is Elly Keinan. Elly leads Kyndryl’s six worldwide practices, global relationships, and technology platform, all in support of our client’s success, as Group President. Elly began his career with IBM, where he held positions such as General Manager of IBM North America, General Manager of IBM Latin America, and Chairman of IBM Japan for 33 years. Elly sits on the boards of Cellebrite, Ottopia, and the New York City United Way. He acquired his Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in Electrical Engineering from the University of Miami in Florida, where he was valedictorian.

Kyndryl’s Chief Executive Officer is Martin Schroeter. Following the separation of IBM’s Managed Infrastructure Services business, which is planned to happen by the end of 2021, Kyndryl will be formed as a new, independent company. With the industry’s most experienced services professionals, Kyndryl creates, runs, and manages the most contemporary, efficient, and dependable IT infrastructure for the world’s most essential enterprises and organizations. Martin was previously IBM’s Senior Vice President, Global Markets from December 2017 until April 2020. He was in charge of IBM’s global sales, client connections and satisfaction, and global geographic operations in that position. He was also in charge of IBM’s marketing and communications divisions, as well as the company’s global brand and reputation.

Kyndryl’s Chief Financial Officer is David. He brings 15 years of expertise as the CFO of multibillion-dollar public corporations, where he supervised large asset sales, spin-offs, and acquisitions, to his job as Kyndryl’s CFO. David joins Kyndryl after leading the global finance division for XPO Logistics, a Fortune 200 global transportation, and contract logistics firm that handles supply chains for 50,000 customers around the world. David supervised the company’s split into one privately bought firm and two public businesses as CFO of Wyndham Worldwide and championed the acquisition of La Quinta Holdings following the spin-off; after the spin-off, he served as CFO of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. He has also worked at Avis Budget Group as president and CFO.

Opinion: Not for me. This is a headcount business with little leverage.

 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Jagadeesh A Reddy
Position: Executive Vice Chair
Transaction Date: 2022-11-03 Shares Bought: 27,071 Average Price Paid: $9.13 Cost: $247,048.00
Company: Mayville Engineering Company Inc. (MEC)
A prominent value-added manufacturing company with headquarters in the United States, MEC offers a wide range of prototype and tooling, production fabrication, coating, assembly, and aftermarket components. Customers work in various end sectors, such as military, heavy- and medium-duty commercial vehicles, power sports, agricultural, and access equipment. With its blue-chip clients, the company has built enduring partnerships based on a high degree of experience, trust, and confidence. As a “one-stop shop” for end-to-end solutions with advantages across the entire product lifecycle, including front-end collaboration in design and prototyping, product manufacturing, aftermarket components, and ancillary supply chain benefits, “The Company Make Things Simple” by offering a diverse set of process offerings. MEC is a top Tier I U.S. supplier of highly designed components to original equipment manufacturer clients with a leadership position in their respective industries. The company was established in 1945 and had its corporate headquarters in Mayville, Wisconsin.

Since 2018, Mr. Reddy has been a member of the senior leadership team of W.R. Grace, most recently holding the positions of managing director of the company’s Advanced Refining Technologies hydroprocessing joint venture with Chevron and head of its Strategy and Growth department. Before joining W.R. Grace, Mr. Reddy worked as Vice President and General Manager of the Water Technologies Strategic Business Unit and Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Pentair PLC. Mr. Reddy previously held executive positions at ITT Corporation and its spinoff, Xylem Inc., with progressively more responsibility. At United Technologies and Danaher Corporation, Mr. Reddy also had positions in mergers and acquisitions and product management. At Denso Corporation, he began his career in manufacturing operations. Mr. Reddy graduated from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management with an MBA in finance and strategy and the McCormick School of Engineering with a Master’s in engineering management.

Opinion: According to management MEC “is poised to benefit from several long-term macroeconomic trends such as reshoring and outsourcing in the years ahead. Our relationships with top OEM customers have never been stronger and we are developing new growth opportunities in both current and new end markets, such as electric vehicles.”

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Michael E Maroone
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-07 Shares Bought: 100,000 Average Price Paid: $8.61 Cost: $861,000.00
Company: Carvana Co. (CVNA)

Name: Ira J. Platt
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-07 Shares Bought: 50,000 Average Price Paid: $7.40 Cost: $370,000.00
Company: Carvana Co. (CVNA)
The most popular online marketplace for buying and selling used vehicles is called Carvana. By providing customers with what they want a large variety, excellent value and quality, clear pricing, and a straightforward, no-pressure transaction, the company is revolutionizing the used vehicle buying and selling experience. Every aspect of the operation, from inventory acquisition to delivery and overall online transaction convenience, has been created with this goal in mind. The business offers consumers time and money-saving, refreshingly unusual, and simple experiences purchasing and selling used cars. Customers may use their desktop or mobile devices to browse and find vehicles, check them using the platform’s proprietary 360-degree car image technology, get finance and warranty coverage, buy the vehicles, and arrange delivery or pick-up. Alternatively, a customer may get a definite offer for their car online by responding to a few questions without submitting any pictures or service history.

Maroone USA’s Chief Executive Officer is Mike Maroone. He is a second-generation auto retailer, an entrepreneur, and an investor. He serves on the Cox Automotive Board of Advisors and is the primary director of Carvana. He formerly worked for AutoNation as President, Chief Operating Officer, and Board Member. Mr. Maroone is the Chair of the Florida Regional Board of Directors and a Director of the Cleveland Clinic. He is a member of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Leadership Council, as is his wife. By Automotive News, Mr. Maroone was designated one of the industry’s 50 Visionary Dealers of All Time. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Florida Atlantic University and was inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at Nova Southeastern University.

At Georgiana Ventures LLC, Ira J. Platt holds the post of President. Additionally, he serves on the boards of GV Auto I LLC, Tactual Labs Co., Carvana Group LLC, and Carvana Co. He formerly served as President of 221 Capital Partners, LLC, Executive Vice President of Aegis Consumer Funding Group, Inc., MD, Head-Principal & Distressed Capital Business at NatWest Markets Securities, Inc., and Portfolio Manager of Rosemont Talk Opportunities Fund I LP. Both his undergraduate degree from Emory University and his MBA from The Fuqua School of Business were awarded to Mr. Platt.

Opinion: It’s interesting when the consensus is that this company will go broke yet insiders are big buyers. It’s worth a shot. Of course, it’s up some 60% in the last week alone.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Goudis Richard
Position: Executive Vice Chair
Transaction Date: 2022-11-04 Shares Bought: 254,500 Average Price Paid: $3.93 Cost: $1,000,134.00
Company: Tupperware Brands Corp (TUP)
Leading international consumer goods manufacturer Tupperware Brands Corporation creates cutting-edge, useful, and green products. Since its founding in 1946, the Company’s iconic container has altered how food is prepared, served, and stored worldwide. More than 8,500 practical design and utility patents for goods for the kitchen and home are now held by this renowned Company. The Company’s goods are an alternative to single-use items to foster a better future. Through the Tupperware brand name, the Company markets, products, and sells design-driven preparation, storage, and serving solutions worldwide for the kitchen and home. While continuing to develop its digital platforms and business-to-business distribution channels, the Company predominantly employs a direct selling business model to distribute and advertise its products. The Company’s sales force members have been selling items to clients for over 75 years via personal contacts, product demonstrations, and an awareness of consumer needs.

Richard P. Goudis currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Herbalife International of America, Inc. Tupperware Brands Corp. and Herbalife Europe Ltd. are also on Mr. Goudis’ board of directors. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. and Herbalife International, Inc. (a subsidiary of Herbalife Nutrition Ltd.), Chief Financial Officer of Tupperware Brands Corp., Partner of Flamingo Capital Partners, Inc., and Chief Operating Officer of Rexall Sundown, Inc. Mr. Goudis graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University, Inc.

Opinion: No thank you.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: John B Wood
Position: CEO/Chairman
Transaction Date: 2022-11-10 Shares Bought: 200,000 Average Price Paid: $3.65 Cost: $730,000.00
Company: Telos Corp. (TLS)

Name: Fredrick Schaufeld
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-11-10 Shares Bought: 250,000 Average Price Paid: $3.63 Cost: $907,500.00
Company: Telos Corp. (TLS)
The Telos Corporation and its subsidiaries provide cutting-edge, software-based security solutions that empower and shield the most security-conscious enterprises in the world against constantly developing sophisticated and widespread attacks. Customers are given the tools they need to expand their markets and better serve their stakeholders. They successfully defend their country or business thanks to the range of security products, services, and knowledge. For the clients to pursue their business objectives and carry out their global missions with confidence in their security and privacy, protect their people, information, and digital assets. The company will use the remaining net proceeds from the IPO and follow-on offering for general business needs. The company may also use net proceeds to buy complementary companies, goods, services, or technological advancements. Numerous variables will affect how much and when the net proceeds are used. The company holds the proceeds in short-term investments until they are required for the uses above.

Telos Corporation, a top supplier of continuous security solutions and services for the world’s most security-conscious agencies and companies, is led by CEO and Chairman of the Board B. Wood. In these capacities, he coordinates the company’s support of businesses and governmental organizations worldwide in cyber, cloud, and enterprise security. John has been with the business since 1992 and is a pioneer in bringing the public and private sectors together to address cybersecurity challenges. At a congressional committee hearing on “Cybersecurity: What the Federal Government Can Learn from the Private Sector,” he gave testimony. He frequently speaks about cybersecurity at government and industry gatherings. As CEO, John has expanded the company’s reach to include commercial businesses, the military, civilian, and intelligence organizations of the federal government, and ally governments worldwide. He has also diversified the company’s product line. John has led Telos services to become the Department of Defense’s official message system and the U.S. Intelligence Community’s official database.

The co-founder and managing director of SWaN & Legend Venture Partners are Fredrick D. Schaufeld. Mr. Schaufeld is a partner in Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Capital One Arena, the Washington Capitals, the Wizards, and the Mystics Capital City Go-Go. He is a partner in the Professional Fighters League, Team Liquid, Harpers Ferry’s Hill Top House Hotel, and the Washington Nationals. The DC Bike Ride’s parent company, American Bike Ride, is also owned by Mr. Schaufeld. Mr. Schaufeld and his wife Karen reside in Virginia. They are active members of groups that promote literacy, health, the environment, peace, the arts, and early childhood development. He serves on the board of the Wolf Trap Foundation and is the chairman of the Inova Health System Foundation.

Opinion: This is worth studying. I simply don’t know enough to have an opinion.

 


 

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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.

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 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.

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.