Market gains are muted, and traders are quick to snatch profits.  Rallies are reversed almost daily as market direction is indecisive.  By many measures, bargains in the stock market are hard to come by.  The earnings yield of the S&P 500 is 3.98%, and the P.E. is historically on the low side.  Earnings surprises are met with a sell-the-news trading mentality.  The economy is showing signs of stalling, yet the Fed has made it clear, that if rate hikes are near the end of the cycle, high-interest rates will be here for quite a while.  10% car loans and 7.3% home mortgages are punches to the body and are starting to take their toll.  Interest rates have peaked but the decline in earnings is just beginning. In this environment, insider buying is particularly interesting to me when they can buy bonds with a real yield of 2 to 3 percent above the inflation rate.

Remember, insiders may have as close to perfect information as anyone, but their motives are only sometimes pure or easily understood.  You can be an insider, too– by clicking here.


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Name: Byron Spruell
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-23 Shares Bought: 800 Average Price Paid: $324.57 Cost: $259,660
Company: Aon plc (AON)

Aon plc is a multinational professional services organization that offers a wide range of risk, health, and wealth solutions. They are better positioned to assist clients in meeting rapidly changing, increasingly complicated, and interrelated challenges due to the experience, worldwide network, and comprehensive analytics. The company is committed to driving innovation to address unmet and developing client needs so that clients are better educated, advised, and equipped to make better decisions to protect and expand their business. Management is focused on improving Aon and unifying the organization with a single portfolio of capacity enabled by data and analytics and a single operating model to give more insight, connection, and efficiency.

Mr. Spruell has been the President of League Operations for the National Basketball Association since August 2016. Before joining the NBA, Mr. Spruell worked with Deloitte LLP for 20 years, most recently as Vice Chairman, Central Region Marketplace Leader, and Chicago Managing Principal. He serves on many non-profit boards, including the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Mr. Spruell is a member of our Board of Directors’ Audit Committee, the Governance/Nominating Committee’s Inclusion and Diversity Sub-Committee, and the Organization and Compensation Committee.

Opinion: Aon has a mandatory stock ownership plan for directors. insider buying may not be so informative. The plan requires all nonmanagement directors to hold an investment position in the company’s common stock with a market value equal to or greater than five times the annual cash retainer paid to directors. One could make an argument that AON’s consulting services are in secular demand as climate change is forcing the catastrophe insurance pricing assumptions to reprice. Irish domiciled companies have tax regime risk.


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Name: Douglas J Treff
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-18 Shares Bought: 2,114 Average Price Paid: $94.61 Cost: $200,016
Company:  Crocs Inc. (CROX)

Crocs, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries design, develop, market, distribute, and sell casual lifestyle footwear and accessories for women, men, and children worldwide. The company’s goal is to be the global leader in creative casual footwear that combines comfort and elegance with the desired value of consumers. They have brands with broad democratic appeal and low price points that align with global megatrends such as casualization and personalization. They feel that the concept and vision for their brands have been critical drivers of our results and will continue to be so as we try to realize the full potential of our brands. To that end, they maintained the Crocs Brand’s “Come As You Are” theme in all regions and channels in 2022. Throughout the year, the company added the HEYDUDE Brand to its portfolio.

Mr. Treff is the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of World Vision, Inc., a humanitarian and development organization. From September 2007 to July 2015, he was Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer of Payless Holdings, Inc., and its Chief Financial Officer from 2012 to 2015. Mr. Treff was Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Sears Canada Inc., having been sent to Sears Canada by Sears Holdings. From 2000 through 2006, Mr. Treff was Deluxe Corporation’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. From 1990 to 2000, he served as Chief Financial Officer and various financial leadership posts at Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc., including Vice President of finance since 1993 and Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary since 1996.

Opinion: Trendy shoe manufacturer is facing competitive pressure from the likes of Birkenstock and others making shoes out of plastic, a weakening consumer, and a general investor disdain for retail. Insider buying  has been strong but until the market has a more positive view on the consumer, any gains will be mute unless CROX can surprise with robust top line growth. Stock looks very cheap based on P.E and cash flow but carries a lot of debt acquired during its acquisition of Hey Dude.


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Name: C Robert Campbell
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-18 Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $64.33 Cost: $321,650
Company: Forward Air Corp (FWRD)

Name: Thomas Schmitt
Position: President & CEO
Transaction Date: 2023-08-17 Shares Bought: 16,050 Average Price Paid: $62.70 Cost: $1,006,335
Company: Forward Air Corp (FWRD)

Name: Laurie Anne Tucker
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-17 Shares Bought: 4,000 Average Price Paid: $61.23 Cost: $244,920
Company: Forward Air Corp (FWRD)

Forward Air Corporation is an industry leader in asset-light freight and transportation. The company provides less-than-truckload, final mile, truckload, and intermodal drayage services throughout the United States and Canada. They offer premium services requiring precise execution, such as accelerated transit, on-time delivery, and one-of-a-kind handling. They use an asset-light strategy to reduce capital expenses by investing as little as possible in equipment and facilities. Forward Air was founded under Tennessee law on October 23, 1981. The Company decided to divest Pool on April 23, 2020, and the sale was finalized on February 12, 2021.

Mr. Campbell served as the Company’s Lead Independent Director from May 2014 to May 2019. From October 2004 to December 2013, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of MasTec, Inc., a prominent communications and energy infrastructure service provider in North America. Mr. Campbell has over 25 years of experience in senior financial management. From April 1998 to June 2000, Mr. Campbell served as President and Chief Executive Officer of BAX Global, Inc. From March 1995 to March 1998, he was Executive Vice President-Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Advantica Restaurant Group, Inc. Mr. Campbell holds an MBA from The Trustees of Columbia University in New York, a master’s degree from Florida International University, and a bachelor’s degree from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Thomas Schmitt has been Chairman, President, and CEO since 2018. Mr. Schmitt was the President, CEO, and Director of Aqua Terra, Canada’s leading provider of natural spring water, from 2013 to 2015. Mr. Schmitt served as President, CEO, and Director of Purolator, Canada’s largest parcel and freight transportation firm, from 2010 until 2012. Mr. Schmitt formerly worked for FedEx in Memphis, TN, as CEO of FedEx Supply Chain and SVP of FedEx Solutions. Mr. Schmitt is similarly passionate about non-profit organizations such as Ballet Memphis and Shelby Farms Park. Mr. Schmitt got his Bachelor of Arts in European Business Administration from Middlesex University and his MBA as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School.

Mrs. Tucker has been the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Calade Partners LLC since January 2014. She worked as the Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing of FedEx Services, Inc., a part of FedEx Corporation, from 2000 until her retirement in December 2013. Since 1978, she has worked for FedEx in various capacities with growing expertise and responsibility. Mrs. Tucker has been a director of Alliance Data Systems since May 2015. She served as a director of Iron Mountain Incorporated from May 2007 to May 2014. Mrs. Tucker graduated from the University of Memphis with a B.B.A. in Accountancy and an M.B.A. in Finance.

Opinion: Lots of insider buying as management steps up as the stock got clobbered on the news of their expensive Omni Logistics acquisition.  According to Post on the Fly, Stifel downgraded Forward Air to Hold from Buy with a price target of $103, down from $127, after the company announced a definitive merger with Omni Logistics. The deal roughly doubles Forward’s operating scale, significantly expanding its suite of services and opening up meaningful opportunities for network and cost synergies, the analyst tells investors in a research note. However, the firm sees “big risks.” The consideration is substantial, with material equity dilution and a significant amount of debt, contends Stifel. As such, it says Forward Air “is once again a show me story.”


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Name: Robert W Stallings
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-21 Shares Bought: 4,000 Average Price Paid: $59.05 Cost: $236,220
Company: Texas Capital Bancshares Inc (TCBI)

Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc., a Delaware business, was founded in November 1996 and began operating as a bank in December 1998. The accounts of TCBI and its fully-owned subsidiary, Texas Capital Bank, are included in the consolidated financial statements. TCBI is a Bank holding company that has chosen to be a financial holding company. The company is based in Dallas, with principal banking branches in Texas’s five largest metropolitan areas: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. Almost all business activities are carried out through the Bank. The Company meets the needs of Texas-based commercial firms, entrepreneurs, and professionals by providing a customized array of financial products and services complemented by high-quality personal service. The Company was created with an entrepreneurial spirit and the goal of establishing a commercial banking footprint throughout Texas.

Robert W. Stallings has been a director of Texas Capital Bancshares since August 2001, and he presently serves as the Chairman of the Board and a member of the Risk, Governance, and Nominating Committees. He is the President and CEO of Stallings Management, LLC, the Owner and Dealer Principal of Bob Stallings Hyundai in Dallas, and the Chairman and Founder of The Stallings Foundation, a Dallas-based private philanthropic organization. He was the main Director for Crescent Realty and is well-known as an M&A strategist and expert in public market strategy. While running Express America Holdings Corporation, Stallings was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1993. He has been a respected leader in the financial sector for over 50 years, having served as an executive at numerous banking and financial companies since 1980. Stallings served in the United States Navy and attended Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island.

Opinion: Staling has been a steady insider buyer of TCBI. Ironically TCBI is not ranked very high by analysts but has dramatically outperformed its peer group, KRE. TCBI has remained flat over the past year while the S&P regional bank ETFis down ~32% .


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Name: Daniel Patrick Gibson
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2023-08-22 Shares Bought: 74,771 Average Price Paid: $59.49 Cost: $4,448,127
Company: Impinj Inc (PI)
Transaction Date: 2023-08-21 Shares Bought: 48,171 Average Price Paid: $58.45 Cost: $2,815,595
Company: Impinj Inc (PI)

The Impinj platform is a development platform for IoT applications that connect physical items to the cloud. Their platform provides data that allows you to use RAIN RFID to analyze, optimize, and virtualize everything. The company and its partners connect the products by embedding a small radio chip in the item or its packaging, which reads and communicates each item’s identification, location, and authenticity. RAIN, a radio-frequency identification or RFID technology pioneered, is used in the firm platform. They campaigned for developing the RAIN radio standard, persuaded governments to distribute frequency spectrum, and co founded the RAIN Alliance, which now has over 150 members. They believe that RAIN’s capabilities, particularly endpoint ICs with serialized identifiers for individual items, battery-free operation, 30-foot range, not-in-line-of-sight readability, up to 1,000 reads per second, low cost, essentially unlimited life, and available cryptographic authentication, position RAIN as the leading item-to-cloud connectivity technology for the IoT.

Daniel Gibson has been on the board of directors since June 2018. Mr. Gibson is a Sylebra Capital Management founding partner and has been a portfolio manager since June 2011 and chief investment officer since January 2018. Sylebra Capital Management is a Hong Kong-based investment firm focusing on the global technology, media, and telecommunications industries. Before that, from 2008 to 2011, he was a partner and analyst at Coatue Capital. He worked as an associate at Calera Capital, a Boston-based private equity firm, from 2006 until 2008. He began his career in the media division at UBS Investment Bank in New York. Mr. Gibson graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in economics.

Opinion: I want to own this leading RFID company but by traditional metrics it still looks overvalued. but 10% shareholder hedge fund, Sylebra Capital Ltd thinks otherwise as it is buying at these levels. I’d like to see more insider buying.


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Name: Blackford F Brauer
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-23 Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $49.14 Cost: $245,676
Company: Commerce Bancshares Inc (CBSH)

Commerce Bancshares, Inc., a bank holding company as defined by the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as modified, was formed on August 4, 1966, under the laws of Missouri. It controls the outstanding capital stock of Commerce Bank, headquartered in Missouri, through a second-tier wholly-owned bank holding company. The Bank conducts general banking operations, offering people and businesses a wide range of retail, mortgage banking, corporate, investment, trust, and asset management products and services. Commerce Bancshares, Inc. also owns the Bank’s several non-banking subsidiaries, either directly or indirectly. The Company’s mission is to be the preferred provider of financial services in its communities, based on strong client connections developed via high-quality service, a strong risk-management culture, and a solid balance sheet with high capital levels.

Director since May 20, 2022. Mr. Brauer is the President of Hunter Engineering Company, a capital equipment producer for the automotive sector. He holds a master of business administration from Northwestern University and a bachelor of arts in economics from Princeton University. Mr. Brauer is a Director of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Centre and has been a member of the Commerce Bank St. Louis Advisory Board since 2009.

Opinion: Just can’t get excited about any regional banks as most look fundamentally flawed. Insider buying is just one indicator to look at.


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Name: Bryant R Riley
Position: Chairman and Co-CEO & 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2023-08-21 Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $47.31 Cost: $1,182,778
Company:  B. Riley Financial Inc. (RILY)

Riley Financial Inc. provides investment banking, brokerage, wealth management, asset management, direct lending, business advisory, valuation, and asset disposition services to a diverse range of clients, including public and private companies, financial sponsors, investors, financial institutions, law firms, and individuals. The Company invests in and purchases firms or assets with attractive risk-adjusted return profiles to benefit its shareholders. The Company owns and operates multiple unrelated consumer companies and makes significant brand investments. The Company’s strategy is centered on high-quality enterprises and assets in industries where the Company has substantial experience and can leverage that knowledge to improve operational efficiency and maximize free cash flow.

Bryant R. Riley has been the company’s Chairman and chief executive Officer since June 2014 and July 2018, respectively, and a director since August 2009. From June 2014 to July 2018, he was also Chief Executive Officer. Since May 2021, he has served as Chairman of B. Riley Principal 250 Merger Corp. From November 2019 through October 2021, Mr. Riley was the director of Select Interior Concepts, Inc. He was also a Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc. director from April 2019 to September 2020, Sonim Technologies, Inc. from October 2017 to March 2019, and Franchise Group, Inc. from September 2018 to March 2020. Mr. Riley graduated from Lehigh University with a B.S. in Finance.

Opinion: Not really sure what the model is here.  Part old world investment bank, private equity, venture capitalist mixed in with traditional brokerage and asset management. I don’t know if this is a successful model but it certainly is an opaque and difficult to analyze business. There is a lot of insider buying in this name.


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Name: Duy Loan T Le
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-23 Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $47.01 Cost: $235,068
Company: Wolfspeed Inc. (WOLF)

Wolfspeed, Inc. is a North Carolina firm founded in 1987 and headquartered in Durham. Wolfspeed, Inc. is a wide bandgap semiconductor inventor focusing on silicon carbide and gallium nitride materials and devices for power and radio-frequency applications. Their product families include silicon carbide and GaN materials, power devices, and RF devices, and they are aimed at various applications, including electric vehicles, quick charging, 5G, renewable energy and storage, and aerospace and defense. The company’s materials and power devices are employed in electric vehicles, motor drives, power supplies, solar applications, and transportation. Most products are produced at North Carolina, California, and Arkansas sites. Contract manufacturers are also used for product creation, assembly, and packaging of items and components.

Ms. Le has served on the Board of Directors since October 2018. She retired from Texas Instruments Inc. in February 2015, having served as a Senior Fellow since 2002. Ms. Le held many leadership positions at Texas Instruments over her 33-year career, including Advanced Technology Ramp Manager for the Embedded Processing Division and worldwide project manager for the Memory Division. She has been the president and sole partner of DLE Management Consulting LLC, a management consulting firm, since 2016. Ms. Le has 33 years of experience in semiconductors, specifically chip design, silicon manufacturing technology development, and advanced technology manufacturing from concept to high-volume production, as well as 33 years of global business experience in Asia and Europe, including managing global R&D centers, joint ventures, foundries, and OSAT partnerships.

Opinion: The company announced a sale of its RF device business to Macom for $125 million. It looks like a good deal for Macom but I don’t see any appeal in this complex semiconductor company in spite of the insider buying.

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Name: Roger A Krone
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-18 Shares Bought: 15,000 Average Price Paid: $38.50 Cost: $577,524
Company: Mercury Systems Inc (MRCY)

Name: Howard L Lance
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-18 Shares Bought: 9,250 Average Price Paid: $37.83 Cost: $349,963
Company: Mercury Systems Inc (MRCY)

Name: William L Ballhaus
Position: President & CEO
Transaction Date: 2023-08-18 Shares Bought: 39,925 Average Price Paid: $37.57 Cost: $1,499,998
Company: Mercury Systems Inc (MRCY)

Mercury Systems, Inc. is a technology firm that provides computing capacity for the most difficult aerospace and defense applications. Based in Andover, Massachusetts, their end-to-end processing infrastructure enables various aerospace and defense programs optimized for mission success in some of the most extreme and demanding settings. The company platform’s processing capabilities include signal solutions, display, software applications, networking, storage, and secure processing. Their innovative solutions are mission-ready, software-defined, open, and modular and match our clients’ current cost and schedule needs by allowing them to use or change products to suit their mission. At the most basic level, they connect what they do to their customers’ missions, assisting those whose safety, security, and freedom are important.

Mr. Krone was the Chairman and CEO of Leidos, a Fortune 500 science and technology business focused on large- and small-scale defense, civil, and health applications, from 2014 until his retirement in 2023. Mr. Krone spent over 15 years at Boeing, holding many leadership positions, including President of its Network & Space Systems business. He was formerly a Vice President at McDonnell Douglas Corporation, which Boeing eventually bought. Mr. Krone began his career with General Dynamics Corporation. Mr. Krone now serves on the Board of Directors of Lear Corporation. He formerly sat on the boards of BorgWarner and United Launch Alliance.

Mr. Lance is the Managing Partner of Lance Advisors LLC, a private equity and institutional investor advisory firm. He is the non-executive Chairman of Summit Materials, a significant distributor of aggregates and cement, and Change Healthcare, a leading healthcare information technology and services provider. He is also a Director of New Vista Acquisition Corporation, a SPAC focused on developing aerospace, defense, and logistics technologies, and the non-executive Chairman of privately held Covanta Energy LLC, a leading provider of sustainable environmental solutions. He previously served on the boards of Ferrovial S.A., Eastman Chemical Company, Stryker Corporation, and Aviat Networks, all publicly traded companies. From 2016 to 2019, Mr. Lance served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Maxar Technologies, Inc., a prominent provider of space technology solutions such as satellites, robots, geospatial images, and services. Mr. Lance holds a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University and a master’s from the Krannert School of Management.

Mr. Ballhaus has expertise in aerospace, defense, and technology, including several CEO positions. From 2016 until its merger with Anthology in 2021, he was Chairman and CEO of Blackboard, Inc., a significant EdTech business. Before that, he was CEO and President of SRA International, Inc., an information technology services provider, from 2011 until the formation of CSRA Inc. from SRA and CSC’s public sector operations in the United States. From 2008 through 2010, Mr. Ballhaus was the CEO and President of government contractor DynCorp International. Mr. Ballhaus received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis, and his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management.

Opinion:  Mercury Systems announced a disastrous 4th quarter and a new CEO and Chairman, Bill Ballhaus.  Was this a kitchen sink quarter and a good time to buy?  T20 out of 300 problems are causing heartburn and the company is actively fixing them. Activist investor Jana Partners thinks so as they added 50,000 shares at $38.05 to their 4.7 million share holdings. Its hard to imagine the U.S. ignoring the increasing demands of an increasingly dangerous world, but that’s always a risk when politics and deficits are combined.  Listen to the recent webcast on the Q4 earnings-its a great place to start your analysis.


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Name: Lloyd M Yates
Position: Director and President & CEO
Transaction Date: 2023-08-23 Shares Bought: 40,000 Average Price Paid: $26.44 Cost: $1,057,600
Company: Nisource Inc. (NI)

NiSource Inc. is an energy holding company formed under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005. NiSource is the successor to NIPSCO Industries, Inc., an Indiana firm formed in 1987 and renamed NiSource Inc. on April 14, 1999. The company focuses on providing safe and dependable service through its core, rate-regulated asset-based utilities to add value to all stakeholders. Their utilities continue progressing on fundamental safety, infrastructure, and environmental investment programs, supported by complementary regulatory and customer initiatives in all six states where they operate. NiSource remains committed to the growth of our SMS for the safety of the customers, communities, and workers.

Lloyd Yates is the President and CEO of NiSource Inc., one of the largest and most heavily regulated utility corporations in the United States. Yates was appointed to NiSource’s Board of Directors in 2020. Yates has extensive experience in the regulated utilities industry. He most recently served as Duke Energy Corporation’s Executive Vice President, Customer and Delivery Operations, and President of the Carolinas Region. Yates graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s in business administration from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He attended the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School’s Advanced Management Programme and Harvard Business School’s Executive Management Programme.

Opinion: Regulated utilities are under investor boycott. The Fed is crowding out traditional fixed income investors with their punitive high interest rates.  Throw in the unknown liability form wildfires and you have a toxic mix in what should otherwise be a good sector to invest in. The increased demand for EV vehicles and AI driven electricity demands from data centers should radically increase electricity demands.  Regulated utilities generally earn more when they can justify more capital investments as they are regulated monopolies allowed to earn an agreed upon return on invested capital.  That’s the compact most regulators abide by. More electricity demand, more income for the utility.  There has been some insider buying in this sector.  $NEE


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Name: Peter M Neupert
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-23 Shares Bought: 11,000 Average Price Paid: $25.30 Cost: $278,256
Company: Fortrea Holdings Inc. (FTRE)

Name: Thomas Pike
Position: Chief Executive Officer
Transaction Date: 2023-08-23 Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $25.23 Cost: $504,640
Company: Fortrea Holdings Inc. (FTRE)

Fortrea Holdings Inc. serves the life sciences industry by providing solutions for clinical development and patient access. It provides clinical trial management from phase I to IV, clinical pharmacology, innovative technology-enabled trial solutions, and post-approval services. The company works with pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. The headquarters of Fortrea Holdings Inc. are in Durham, North Carolina.

Peter M. Neupert serves on the boards of 8 other corporations and Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings. He was previously Chairman of the Board of Directors at, Inc., Vice President-Health Solutions Group at Microsoft Corp., Operating Partner at Health Evolution Management Co. LLC, and Member of the National Academy of Medicine (United States). Mr. Neupert earned an undergraduate degree from Colorado College and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.

Thomas Pike is the Chairman and CEO of Fortrea. Since Fortrea became independent in July 2023, he has held this office. Tom became President and CEO of Fortrea in January 2023 after LabCorp spun off. Tom has over 30 years of leadership experience in global services industries, including contract research organizations (CROs) and pharmaceutical, biotech, hospital, and site organizations. He co-founded, advised, and directed many healthcare and technology services firms before joining Labcorp. Tom began his career as a McKinsey consultant. Tom graduated from Delaware with a bachelor’s in accountancy. Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.’s Board of Directors has included him since 2019.

Opinion: Spinoffs can be a big investment opportunity.  Insider buying is great confirmation. The stock opened on 6/3 around $35 and closed at $36.80.  The sharp decline following its first stand alone quarter might be a bargain basement price. I’m listening to the earnings call with great anticipation.  The CEO just joined in January 2023 to lead this spinoff. Q2 earnings was very convoluted due to the spin year accounting but For the full year 2023, the Company expects revenue in the range of $3,034 million to $3,096 million and adjusted EBITDA in the range of $255 million to $285 million. This guidance assumes a full year 2023 adjusted tax rate of 27% to 30% and does not reflect the potential impact of currency fluctuations. This was an unusually down quarter and hopefully not representative of the stand alone company.  On the earnings call, the CEO tried to reassure investors that the down quarter was not emblematic of the future.  This will be another wait and see prove me story. Take a small position to have it on your radar.


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Name: David A Handler
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-22 Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $22.65 Cost: $453,070
Company: PENN Entertainment Inc. (PENN)

Penn National Gaming, Inc. was renamed PENN Entertainment on August 4, 2022. PENN Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries are the premier providers of integrated entertainment, sports content, and casino gaming experiences in North America. PENN operated 43 locations in 20 states, online sports betting in 15 jurisdictions, and iCasino in five jurisdictions as of December 31, 2022, under a portfolio of well-known brands such as Hollywood Casino®, L’Auberge®, Barstool Sportsbook®, and theScore Bet Sportsbook and Casino®. PENN operates online sports betting in 16 jurisdictions as of the publication date of this report, with the addition of Ohio in January 2023. 

David A. Handler is the Chairman of Penn National Gaming, Inc. In addition, he serves on the boards of Playwrights Horizons and GLP Capital LP. Mr. Handler was previously a Partner at Centerview Partners LLC, a Senior Managing Director at Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., a Managing Director at Jefferies LLC, and a Managing Director at UBS Investment Bank (US).

Opinion: The hype around legalized sports gambling was going to inevitably lead to disappointment. It led to a decade of market share price wars that continue to this day. The decision to buy Barstool Sports and then to sell it back to flamboyant Youtube personality Dave Portnoy is confusing to say the least. Deutsche Bank analyst Carlo Santarelli views Penn Entertainment’s (PENN) strategic alliance with Disney’s (DIS) ESPN as a net positive for Penn, saying it was clear the Barstool brand didn’t have the customer acquisition network it advertised and the company now has a new potential growth while essentially eliminating the risks associated with Barstool.  The most recent sell off on news of the ESPN partnership has investors fearing for increased marketing costs. It may represent an opportunity with NFL just kicking off and the inevitable uptick in online sports gambling.  I am watching for more insider buying.


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Name: Andrew Kenner
Position: SVP, Olefin Material & Corp Pr
Transaction Date: 2023-08-22 Shares Bought: 11,762 Average Price Paid: $22.30 Cost: $262,304
Company: Westlake Chemical Partners LP (WLKP)

Westlake Chemical Partners LP was founded in March 2014 by Westlake as a Delaware limited partnership to run, acquire, and develop ethylene manufacturing plants and related assets. The company concluded its initial public offering of 12,937,500 common units representing limited partner interests on August 4, 2014. In line with the IPO, they purchased an initial 10.6% stake in OpCo and a 100% stake in OpCo GP, OpCo’s general partner. They had an 18.3% limited partner investment in OpCo as of December 31, 2018. They concluded a private offering of 2,940,818 common units on March 29, 2019. They used the net proceeds to purchase an additional 4.5% interest in OpCo on January 1, 2019, giving us an aggregate 22.8% limited partner interest in OpCo. OpCo is in charge of the business and operations.

Andrew Kenner is the Senior Vice President of Chemical Manufacturing at Westlake Chemical Corp. Mr. Kenner previously worked for Valero Energy Corp. as Vice President and General Manager-Refinery. He earned a master’s degree from The University of Texas and a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.

Opinion: Kenner has been a consistent buyer of Company stock. Its not apparent to me why he is buying but U.S. based chemical companies have a significant cost advantage due to the abundance of natural gas inputs.


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Name: Corning F. Painter
Position: Chief Executive Officer
Transaction Date: 2023-08-18 Shares Bought: 15,000.00 Average Price Paid: $21.59 Cost: $323,850
Company:  Orion S.A. (OEC)

Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. is a Luxembourg joint stock business established as a Luxembourg limited liability company on July 28, 2014. The address of the registered office is 6 Route de Trèves, L-2633 Senningerberg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The company headquarters are in Spring, Texas, in the United States. They are a global leader in the production of carbon black. Carbon black is a powdered form of carbon used to modify various materials’ physical, electrical, and optical properties. Carbon black materials are generally used as additives to manufacture polymers, batteries, printing inks and coatings, and rubber polymer reinforcement. They currently have 14 owned production sites in Europe, North and South America, South Africa, and Asia, including one in Huaibei, China, and one in Dortmund, Germany. The company is one of the world’s largest producers of Specialty and Rubber Carbon Black.

Mr. Painter was named Chief Executive Officer of the Group in September 2018 and joined the Board of Directors in October 2018. Mr. Painter started his career with Air Products in 1984 as part of the company’s professional development program. He moved through the ranks, holding senior positions in operations, supply chain, corporate strategy, and technology. He was Executive Vice President, Industrial Gases at Air Products until the end of June 2018, when he left to become the new Chief Executive Officer of the Orion Engineered Carbons division, effective September 2018.

Opinion: The company had a good quarter and they are one of the few specialty chemical companies expected to have a stronger 2023 than 2022.  The question I have, how big is the carbon anode business opportunity for OEC?  BARD brings back this” The total addressable market (TAM) for carbon anode business opportunity for OEC is estimated to be $20 billion by 2025. This is based on the increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and the need for high-performance carbon anodes in these vehicles.

OEC is a leading manufacturer of carbon fiber composites. The company has developed a proprietary technology for producing high-performance carbon anodes for EVs. This technology is based on the use of OEC’s carbon fiber composites, which offer a number of advantages over traditional carbon anodes. OEC is currently in the process of commercializing its carbon anode technology. The company has already secured a number of partnerships with leading EV manufacturers. If OEC is successful in commercializing its carbon anode technology, it could capture a significant share of the $20 billion TAM. This would be a major growth driver for the company and could help to make it a leading player in the EV market.

Here are some of the factors that are driving the growth of the carbon anode business opportunity:

  • The increasing demand for EVs: The global EV market is expected to grow from 2.5 million units in 2020 to 20 million units in 2025. This growth is being driven by government regulations, environmental concerns, and the rising cost of gasoline.
  • The need for high-performance carbon anodes: Carbon anodes are the most important component of lithium-ion batteries. They are responsible for converting the chemical energy of the battery into electrical energy. High-performance carbon anodes are needed to improve the performance and lifespan of lithium-ion batteries.
  • The development of new technologies: There are a number of new technologies that are being developed to improve the performance and lifespan of carbon anodes. These technologies include the use of carbon nanotubes and graphene.

The carbon anode business opportunity is a major growth opportunity for OEC. The company has the potential to capture a significant share of this market by commercializing its proprietary technology.  Let’s see if there is more insider buying.

Finviz Chart

Name: Daniel K. McMahon
Position: EVP
Transaction Date: 2023-08-18 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $21.18 Cost: $211,850
Company: Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital Inc. (HASI)

HASI is a leading climate-positive investing firm that actively collaborates with customers to deploy tangible assets that aid in the energy transition. The company invests in climate solutions developed or sponsored by industry leaders in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sectors for sustainable infrastructure. They were one of the first public corporations in the United States entirely focused on climate solutions. They aim to generate attractive returns from a diverse portfolio of project company investments that generate long-term, predictable cash flows from proven technologies that cut carbon emissions or strengthen resilience to climate change. They are handled internally, and their management team has substantial industry knowledge and experience. 

Daniel “Dan” K. McMahon is executive vice president, co-head of portfolio management, and head of syndications at HASI, a significant investor in climate solutions. He co-leads the portfolio management group and heads the syndications group. He has been in various roles with HASI and its predecessor business since 2000, including senior vice president from 2007 to 2015. Mr. McMahon earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1993 from the University of California, San Diego, and is a CFA charter holder. He holds Series 24, 63, and 79 securities licenses.

Opinion: A dividend yield of 7.78% for renewable investments looks very attractive. Lots of insider buying in this name but not in large dollar amounts.

Finviz Chart

Name: Sanford Robertson
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-23 Shares Bought: 30,000 Average Price Paid: $17.45 Cost: $523,500
Company: Cassava Sciences Inc (SAVA)

Name: Richard Barry
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-21 Shares Bought: 18,477 Average Price Paid: $16.67 Cost: $307,928
Company: Cassava Sciences Inc (SAVA)

Cassava Sciences, Inc. is an Austin, Texas-based clinical-stage biotechnology business. The company aims to diagnose and treat neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. Their unique research centers on stabilizing a crucial protein in the brain rather than eliminating it. In Phase 3 clinical trials, their principal therapeutic medication candidate, similar, is being examined for the proposed treatment of Alzheimer’s disease dementia. Over the last ten years, they have coupled cutting-edge technology with fresh neurobiological insights to create breakthrough treatments for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. They aim to use a distinct scientific/clinical platform to create a first-of-its-kind program for treating neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. Their scientific approach to Alzheimer’s disease treatment aims to inhibit both neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation at the same time. 

Sanford Robertson has been a director since 1998. Mr. Robertson has partnered with Francisco Partners, a technology buyout fund, since 1999. Before creating Francisco Partners, Mr. Robertson was the founder and chairman of Robertson, Stephens & Company, a technology investment bank sold to BankBoston in 1998. Mr. Robertson is the lead director of, a publicly traded provider of enterprise cloud computing technologies.

Richard (Rick) Barry has been a Director since June 20, 2021. Mr. Barry has been a Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc.—director since June 2015. Mr. Barry has a wealth of experience in the financial management industry. From 1999 through 2010, he was an Eastbourne Capital Management LLC founding member, serving as Managing General Partner and Portfolio Manager. Mr. Barry worked as a Portfolio Manager and Managing Director at Robertson Stephens Investment Management. Mr. Barry graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Opinion: SAVA is a battleground stock with some short sellers. I’ve blogged frequently on Cassava.  In November 2020, the Fund was up 38% largely on 12x gains in this name. Cassava Sciences is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing simufilam, an oral drug that is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Simufilam is a proprietary, small molecule that restores the normal shape and function of altered filamin A (FLNA), a scaffolding protein, in the brain.  Like almost all development biotech’s, its a binary outcome.


Finviz Chart


Name: Kelcy L Warren
Position: Executive Chairman
Transaction Date: 2023-08-17 Shares Bought: 3,000,000 Average Price Paid: $12.96 Cost: $38,892,500
Company:  Energy Transfer LP (ET)

Name: Bradford D. Whitehurst
Position: EVP
Transaction Date: 2023-08-22 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $13.00 Cost: $130,000
Company: Energy Transfer LP (ET)

Energy Transfer LP is a Delaware limited partnership whose common units are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the “ET.” Energy Transfer generates financial flows from distributions from its companies, including Sunoco LP and USAC. The quantity of cash distributed to us by our subsidiaries is determined by the earnings from their particular business activities and the amount of accessible cash. Energy Transfer’s principal financial requirements are partner payouts, general and administrative expenses, and debt service. Every quarter, Energy Transfer distributes to its Unitholders any remaining funds after meeting the above cash criteria.

Mr. Bradford D. Whitehurst is the Chief Financial Officer of Energy Transfer LP and the Chief Financial Officer of Energy Transfer Operating LP and LE GP LLC. He is on the boards of USA Compression GP LLC, USA Compression Partners LP, the Energy Infrastructure Council, and the Master Limited Partnership Association. Mr. Whitehurst previously worked for BMC Partners LLP as a Partner, Energy Transfer LP (Texas) as an Executive Vice President and head, Hogan & Hartson LLP as an Attorney, and McKee Nelson LLP as an Attorney. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a master’s degree from Kenan-Flagler Business School, and a law degree from Duke University School of Law.

Opinion: Its good to see more insider buying besides founder and executive Chairman Kelcy buying stock in this mid stream giant. the 10% yield seems secure and the stock has outperformed the S&P 500 by a cumulative 73% points.


Finviz Chart

Name: John Drake Nichols
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-17 Shares Bought: 29,573 Average Price Paid: $10.72 Cost: $317,014
Company:  Hippo Holdings Inc. (HIPO)

Hippo Enterprises Inc., a Delaware corporation, and Reinvent Technology Partners Z, a Cayman Islands-exempt special purpose acquisition company, completed a merger and other transactions in August 2021. Hippo is a unique home security firm created from the ground up to deliver a new level of care and protection for homes. The company’s mission is to make homes safer and more secure so that consumers may spend less time worrying about the responsibilities of homeownership and more time enjoying their homes and the lives they lead. Hippo uses technology and analytics to refocus the home insurance experience at every level of the relationship on the needs of the consumer. They strive to foster an active partnership with the customers to reduce losses, leading to better results for Hippo.

John Drake Nichols is a businessman who has been the CEO of five separate firms. He is a Venture Advisor at Kiplin Capital LLC, a Senior Advisor at REIN Technologies (US), Inc., and a Senior Advisor at Two Sigma Insurance Quantified LP. He is also the Head of Finance at Renaissance Reinsurance Ltd., an Advisory Board member at Parsons The New School for Design, and a director of 5 additional firms. Previously, John Drake Nichols was President-Renaissancere Division at RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. and President at RenaissanceRe Ventures Ltd., Chairman at Protective Insurance Corp., Chief Executive Officer of AXIS Reinsurance Co., Chief Executive Officer of AXIS Re SE, Chief Executive Officer for AXIS Reinsurance Co., and Assistant Vice President-Claims at The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. Mr. Nichols graduated from Babson College.

Opinion: I don’t think so. I would need a lot more insider buying to warrant further research.

Finviz Chart

Name: Vincent Craig Dungan
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-24 Shares Bought: 30,000 Average Price Paid: $10.50 Cost: $314,986
Company: Citizens Holding Co (CIZN)

Citizens Holding Co is a single-bank holding company founded on February 16, 1982, under Mississippi law. The Citizens Bank of Philadelphia is owned entirely by the Company. Apart from the Bank, the Company has no subsidiaries. The First National Bank of Philadelphia was founded on February 8, 1908. The bank renounced its national charter and gained a state franchise in 1917, at which point its name was changed to The Citizens Bank of Philadelphia, Mississippi. The Company engages in a wide range of commercial and personal banking activities through its ownership of the Bank, including accepting demand deposits, savings, and time deposit accounts, making secured and unsecured loans, issuing letters of credit, originating mortgage loans, and providing personal and corporate trust services. Through third-party connections, the Company also provides commercial banking-related services to its loan customers, such as credit life insurance and title insurance.

Dr. Dungan became a member of the Board of Directors in 2008. Dr. Dungan is a gastrointestinal specialist who has been with Meridian Gastrointestinal PLLC since 2004. Before that, he was a member of the Rush Medical Group. As a physician, he contributes a unique perspective on the medical community’s requirements to the Board of Directors, particularly in the Meridian, Mississippi, geographic region.

Opinion: It takes too much work to understand the balance sheet of regional banks and the balance sheet is everything.


Finviz Chart

Name: Brian Christopher Miller
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-08-17 Shares Bought:  60,000 Average Price Paid: $5.81 Cost: $348,600
Company:  Beauty Health Co (SKIN)

Name: Brent Saunders
Position: Chairman
Transaction Date: 2023-08-16 Shares Bought: 59.3800 Average Price Paid: $6.10 Cost: $362,372
Company:  Beauty Health Co (SKIN)

The Beauty Health Company is a global category-creating company focused on delivering beauty health experiences that help people reimagine their relationship with their skin, bodies, and self-confidence. Hydrafacial, their flagship brand, pioneered the category of hydra dermabrasion by using a unique Vortex-Fusion Delivery System to wash, remove, and hydrate the skin with proprietary solutions and serums.  They are personalizing skincare solutions for people of different ages, genders, skin tones, and skin types. The company strategy begins with forming a network of providers, brand partners, and retail partners to create a distribution platform for our creative products and experiences. They want to sell the service through their sales team, asking providers and partners to join our community.

Brian Miller is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Linden Capital Partners. He has been involved in healthcare principal investing since 1998. Before joining Linden, Brian was a founding member of First Chicago Equity Capital’s healthcare team. Mr. Miller began his career in the investment banking business of Salomon Brothers Inc. He currently serves on Beauty Health Co., MeriCal, Collagen Matrix, Vital Care, StatLab, and Formulated Solutions boards. He has previously served on the boards of Flexan, Z-Medica, Solara, SeraCare, BarrierSafe Solutions International, CORPAK MedSystems, HYCOR Biomedical, Strata Pathology Services, and Suture Express. Mr. Miller has a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA with an emphasis in healthcare from Harvard Business School.

In May 2014, Saunders was named CEO of pharmaceutical company Actavis, after that company acquired Forest Laboratories.[11] In November, Saunders negotiated Actavis’ merger with fellow pharmaceutical company Allergan, which closed at $70.5 billion.[1] The new combined company took the Allergan name.[12] In February 2015, Saunders appeared on the cover of Forbes, named as Wall Street’s Drug Dealer.[6]

In May 2019, Saunders survived a proposal brought by hedge fund Appaloosa Management to split Allergan’s chairman and CEO roles.[13] In June, pharmaceutical company Abbvie bought Allergan for $63 billion.[14]

Saunders rolled the dice with other people’s money In September, Saunders’ special-purpose acquisition company Vesper Healthcare Acquisition publicly launched, raising $400 million.[2] Filings indicated that Saunders owned 20% of the company after the SPAC sale.[2] In December, Saunders made his first deal with Vesper when he acquired HydraFacial, a beauty treatment company, for $1.1 billion.[7]

In May 2021, Vesper’s HydraFacial deal closed, and the new company was renamed The Beauty Health Company, with Saunders taking the role of executive chairman.[3] He also served as interim CEO until February 2022.[16]

Opinion: New CEO and new CFO at Beauty Health but Brent Saunders has been a winner in the pharma space as he made Botox a household word. Can he do the trick with HydraFacial’s? If anyone can, he can. There have not been many winners started with a SPAC but that doesn’t mean you can’t make money buying low and selling higher. Short interest is a stunning 22.95% with 10.47 days to cover.  Near 20% interest rates for new subprime credit aestheticians is hampering sales .  If there are signs of a turnaround-Can you say short squeeze?  Insider buying will remain a critical confidence booster.


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You can be an insider, too– by clicking here

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 with any stock market experience 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 of 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, we analyze unusual patterns with selling, 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 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 probes 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.

This blog is solely for educational purposes and the author’s own amusement.  Think of the blog as part of my personal investment journal that I am willing to share with the DIY investor.  There are also many parts that I am not willing to share if I think it could influence trading action or be detrimental to the Fund’s partners. We could be long, short, or have no position at all in any of the stocks mentioned and express no written or implied obligation to disclose any of that.

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