Insiders continue to buy regional and community banks. In most likely a classic case of the baby being thrown out with the bathwater, the KRE, regional bank ETF, showed signs of bottoming but Microsoft and Meta stole the limelight with better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

It hasn’t been a good week for the Greens. First, the Chilean government decides they are going to nationalize the country’s lithium reserves. Chile is the world’s second-largest producer of metal essential in electric vehicle batteries. Enphase, the leading inverter and one of the leading battery suppliers to the solar panel industry, swooned 15% on lower-than-expected earnings forecast and demand, Then First Solar, the only U.S.-based solar semiconductor manufacturer, lost 8% of its value on a Q1 earnings miss.  In the background, General Motors quietly announced it was scraping the Chevy Bolt, which was actually its most popular selling EV vehicle. It’s enough to make you wonder if we shouldn’t be rethinking this whole transition from scarce, polluting fossil fuels to a scarcer, more expensive lithium electricity-based renewable economy.  Nuclear power is the one energy source that is energy-efficient and carbon-free, but there is little talk and capital investment directed to that corner.

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Finviz Chart

Name: Thurman J Rodgers
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-04-26  Shares Bought: 32,900 Average Price Paid: $166.88 Cost: $5,490,467
Company: Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH)

Enphase Energy Inc. is a worldwide energy technology firm formed in Delaware in March 2006 under the name PVI Solutions, Inc. The firm creates, develops, manufactures, and sells home energy systems that integrate energy production, storage, control, and communication into a single intelligent platform. The company has revolutionized the solar industry by pioneering a semiconductor-based microinverter that converts energy at the individual solar module level and provides advanced energy monitoring and control when combined with proprietary networking and software technologies. This is vastly different from a string inverter system, whether with or without an optimizer, which only converts the energy of the entire array of solar modules from a single high-voltage electrical unit and needs more intelligence about the solar array’s energy-producing capacity.

Thurman John Rodgers has been a board of directors member since January 2017. He offers 34 years of public business CEO expertise to the board. Mr. Rodgers started Cypress Semiconductor Corporation in 1982 and served as president, CEO, and board of directors member until April 2016. Mr. Rodgers served on the board of trustees of Dartmouth College, his alma mater, from June 2004 until December 2012. Mr. Rodgers served on the SunPower Corporation board of directors from May 2002 until May 2011. Dartmouth College awarded him bachelor’s degrees in physics and chemistry, while Stanford University awarded him master’s and Ph.D. in electrical engineering. Mr. Rodgers devised, developed, and patented VMOS technology while at Stanford.

Opinion: ENPH reported Q1 revenue $726.0M, consensus $732.3M. Revenue in the United States for the first quarter of 2023 decreased by approximately 9% due to seasonality and macroeconomic conditions, while their revenue in Europe increased by approximately 25% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.  A down quarter didn’t stop Rodgers from buying $10 million of ENPH over a couple of days. Keeping things into perspective, Rodgers already owns over $200 million worth. It’s not like he needed more to balance out his financial planning.

Finviz Chart

Name: Dennis L Brand
Position: Executive Vice President
Transaction Date: 2023-04-26 Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $73.75 Cost: $368,750
Company: Bancfirst Corp (BANF)

BancFirst Corporation serves as BancFirst’s bank holding company, providing various commercial banking services to retail clients and small to medium-sized enterprises. Metropolitan Banks, Community Banks, Pegasus, Worthington, and Other Financial Services are the business sectors of the corporation. It provides checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, sweep accounts, club accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, overdraft protection, and auto draught services. In November 1988, the corporation changed its name from United Community Corporation to BancFirst Corporation. BancFirst Corporation was established in 1984 and is based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Dennis L. Brand has served as BancFirst Corporation’s Board Vice Chairman since May 2017. Mr. Brand has served as the Company’s Vice Chairman since 2013. Before that, he served as the Company’s Senior Executive Vice President beginning in 2005. From 2005 until 2017, he served as the bank’s President and Chief Executive Officer. From October 2003 until December 2004, he served as the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He was Executive Vice President of Community Banking from 1999 until 2003. From 1992 through 1999, he was a Regional Executive and President of BancFirst Shawnee.

Opinion: Another insider buying a depressed regional banks. Maybe all banks should not be painted with the same brush.

Finviz Chart

Name: Alan B. Colberg
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-04-21 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $34.14 Cost: $341,380.00
Company: US Bancorp. (USB)

U.S. Bancorp, a financial service holding corporation, offers various financial services to people, companies, institutional organizations, governmental agencies, and other financial institutions in the United States. It operates in the Corporate and Commercial Banking, Consumer and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Investment Services, Payment Services, and Treasury and Corporate Support sectors. The company provides depository services such as checking accounts, savings accounts, and time certificate contracts; lending services such as traditional credit products; credit card services; lease financing and import/export trade; asset-backed lending; agricultural finance; and other products. It also offers corporate and governmental entity clients capital markets, treasury management, and receivable lockbox collection services.

Alan B. Colberg was Assurant, Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of its board of directors from January 2015 to December 2021, and its president from 2014 to May 2021 before retiring in January 2022. He was formerly Assurant’s Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. Before joining Assurant in 2011, he worked for Bain & Company, Inc. for over 20 years, leading the firm’s worldwide financial services practice. Colberg also serves on the board of Corebridge Financial, Inc., previously AIG Life & Retirement.

Opinion: I remember a time when U.S. Bank was considered the most conservative and best run bank. Now its looking like garbage and short sellers say the company should eliminate the dividend and raise equity. I’m waiting for another insider to step up and with a bigger confidence inspiring purchase before I swim against the tide on this one.

Finviz Chart


Name: Robert W Stallings
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-04-21 Shares Bought: 21,000 Average Price Paid: $51.61 Cost: $1,083,790
Transaction Date: 2023-04-25  Shares Bought: 8,500 Average Price Paid: $49.78 Cost: $423,130
Company: Texas Capital Bancshares Inc (TCBI)

Texas Community Bancshares, Inc. was established in March 2021 to take over as the holding company for Mineola Community Bank, S.S.B. after Mineola Community Mutual Holding Company underwent a “Conversion” from a mutual holding company to a stock holding company. When making commercial real estate loans, Texas Capital Bancshares Inc. takes into account a number of variables. The business assesses the borrower’s credentials and financial situation, including their credit history, profitability, and level of experience, as well as the worth and condition of the assets used as collateral for the loan. The organisation looks at the borrower’s financial resources, expertise owning or managing similar property, and payment history with other financial institutions when assessing the borrower’s suitability.

Robert William served as Independent Director at Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc from December 2001. Robert William Stallings, the founder of ING Pilgrim Capital Corp., is a businessman who has led five different firms and is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Stallings Capital Group, Inc. Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc., MGA Insurance Co., Inc., Texas Capital Bank NA, and Crescent Realty, Inc. are all on Mr. Stallings’ board of directors. Mr. Stallings has previously served as Trust Manager at Crescent Real Estate Holdings LLC, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategic Officer at GAINSCO, Inc., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Resource Bank, NA, Chairman of ING Pilgrim Capital Corp., and Chief Executive Officer of Pilgrim Capital Corp. Johnson & Wales University, Inc. awarded Robert William Stallings an undergraduate degree.

Opinion: Stallings has been buying TCBI for a year now.  Does he know something the market doesn’t?

Finviz Chart

Name: Jeff W Dick
Position: Chairman, President and CEO
Transaction Date: 2023-04-26  Shares Bought: 10,914 Average Price Paid: $21.40 Cost: $233,560
Company: MainStreet Bancshares Inc. (MNSB)

MainStreet Bancshares, Inc. is the parent company of MainStreet Bank and MainStreet Community Capital, LLC. The Company chose financial holding company status to conduct a larger variety of financial operations than are normally authorized for bank holding companies. The organization places a premium on providing customers with timely and personalized services. Because of the consolidation of financial institutions in the major market region, the business believes that a local bank with a comprehensive range of financial services has considerable potential. The firm seeks to differentiate itself from bigger regional banks operating in the market area by delivering highly professional, personalized banking products and service delivery techniques, leveraging innovative banking technology and can compete well with other community banks.

Jeff W. Dick serves as the Chairman and CEO of MainStreet Bancshares, Inc. and MainStreet Bank. Mr. Dick was a co-founder of the bank and served as President until December 2016. From 1999 until January 2003, he worked at a local community bank in different capacities, including Executive Vice President and member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Dick formerly worked as a risk-based banking supervision expert for the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority from 1996 to 1999. Mr. Dick started his banking career in 1983 as a Field Examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and in 1993 he was promoted to Field Manager in Washington, D.C. He has an Imperial College diploma and a B.S.B.A. in accounting and management from the University of North Dakota.

Opinion: Another insider buying a depressed regional banks. Maybe all banks should not be painted with the same brush.

Finviz Chart

Name: Kenneth J Phelan
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-04-26  Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $10.80 Cost: $216,000
Company: Huntington Bancshares Inc (HBAN)

Huntington Bancshares Inc., a multi-state diversified regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, was founded under Maryland law in 1966. For over 150 years, the company has met its customers’ financial requirements via the Bank. Through its subsidiaries, it provides full-service consumer and commercial banking, mortgage banking, vehicle, boat, equipment, and inventory financing, investment management, trust and brokerage services, insurance products and services, and other financial goods and services. By the end of 2021, the bulk of its 1,092 full-service branches and private client group offices will be located in Ohio, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Other states also provide particular financial services and engage in other activities. 

Mr. Phelan has been a Senior Advisor at Oliver Wyman Inc., a worldwide management consulting business, since 2019. Before that, from 2014 until 2019, he was the US Treasury’s Chief Risk Officer. In this capacity, he created the department’s Office of Risk Management to give top Treasury and other Administration officials analyses of critical risks throughout the agency, including credit, market, liquidity, operational, governance, and reputational concerns. He also served as Acting Director of the Office of Financial Research, an independent office inside the Treasury Department tasked with assisting the Financial Stability Oversight Council and undertaking systemic risk research. Mr. Phelan has a master’s degree in economics from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and a juris doctorate from Villanova University.

Opinion: Another insider buying a depressed regional banks. Maybe all banks should not be painted with the same brush.

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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 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 a seller. 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, are horrendously poor. Also planned sales that pop up out of nowhere are basically sales and are seeking cover under this corporate welfare loophole. I also generally ignore 10 percent shareholders as they tend to be OPM (other people’s money) and perhaps not the smart money on which we are trying to read the tea leaves. I say generally because some 10% shareholders are great investors. Think Warren  Buffett, Icahn, and others

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.

A big callout to my assistant Ambreen who sets up this conversation by listing the notable buys that I’ve identified.  She probs the 10k for a reasonable description of the business. I’ve found that to be the most accurate and succinct place to find out what a business actually does. The websites and marketing material are just that, poorly disguised marketing material for many. I should know that better than most if you at my past involvement in building the 1st websites for many Fortune 500 companies.

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.

This blog is solely for educational purposes and the author’s own amusement. Don’t rely on this blog. Think of the blog as part of my personal investment journal that I am willing to share with the DIY investor. We welcome your comments on our analysis, but please do your own research.  Investing with The Insiders Fund is for qualified investors and by Prospectus only. Nothing herein should be construed otherwise.  THE INSIDERS FUND prefers to invest in companies at or near prices that management has been willing to invest significant amounts of their own money in but we have no requirement to do so. We also invest in many companies in anticipation of future insider buying or with the expectation that there is none at all.

You can be an insider, too– by clicking here

Prosperous Trading,

Harvey Sax
Insomniac Hedge Fund Guy