Trying to read the tea leaves and glean some information from insider buying patterns is seldom obvious.  Directors are generally required to own a percentage of their board compensation in the company’s equity.  Generally is the right word because this is not a requirement at every company.  Investors viewing this information have to weigh it against past purchases, if any, actual board stock ownership requirements, the relative size of the purchase, and, of course, the recent price history.  Are they buying near the highs or, more typically, purchasing shares at recent lows in price? Insiders tend to be value buyers, bottom fishers, and contrarians.  The essential question we wrestle with is: Is it an informed contrarian purchase or a mandatory ownership purchase to satisfy the company’s ownership requirements?’ 

If that question can be answered in the affirmative, the process of analysis really just begins. Common financial analysis provides the basis for our judgment.  Is this a growth industry or one challenged by secular decline beyond any company’s control? Listening to the most recent quarterly earnings webcast and reviewing analysts’ thoughts are always essential guideposts along the way.  More often than not, the outcome leads to a baffling conclusion, ‘What the heck were they thinking when they bought this stock?”

We don’t analyze selling in the Insiders Report, yet it does have weight in our judgment call.  Insider buying that is dwarfed by other insider selling may negate the signal altogether, and you may have noticed that we omitted certain insider buying because of that.  As difficult as it is to gain an edge by analyzing the buying patterns, selling is downright impossible.  Insiders sell for many reasons, many of which signal nothing at all about the company’s prospects.

 

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Name: Birgit Girshick
Position: Corporate Executive VP & COO
Transaction Date: 2023-11-20  Shares Bought: 1,322 Average Price Paid: $187.82 Cost: $248,298
Company: Charles River Laboratories International Inc. (CRL)

Charles River Laboratories International Inc. is a full-service, non-clinical worldwide drug development partner to improve people’s lives. The firm has expanded on its initial core strength of laboratory animal medicine and science to build a comprehensive array of discovery and safety assessment services, both GLP and non-GLP, that serve customers from target selection through non-clinical development. The firm also offers a variety of goods and services to help customers with their manufacturing operations, including the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) industry. Using a diverse array of goods and services helps customers to construct a more efficient and adaptable drug development model, which lowers costs, improves productivity and effectiveness, and accelerates time to market.

Birgit Girshick joined Charles River in 1989 and rose through the ranks of the company’s Research Models & Services and Avian Vaccine Services divisions. Ms. Girshick was elevated to General Manager of Avian Vaccine Services in 2004. In 2010, she was appointed Corporate Vice President of Global Biopharmaceutical Services. Ms. Girshick was appointed Corporate Senior Vice President, Research Models and Biologics Testing Solutions 2013. Ms. Girshick took leadership of the WIL integration in 2016 and was designated president of the worldwide Discovery Services division in October 2016. Ms. Girshick has a B.A. from Eastern Connecticut State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Rhode Island. She also obtained credentials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management’s Advanced Management Program.

Opinion: Charles River Labs has been dead money for nearly three years. In fact, investors would have fared much worse if they bought it at the September 2021 high of $460.  The prior week, the CEO bought $1 million worth of CRL at $178. This looks like Foster’s first and only open-market purchase, although he has sold the company’s stock millions of dollars’ worth. He is the only CEO of Charles River Laboratories. He was appointed in 2011.

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Name: Thomas C Erb    
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-20  Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $84.48 Cost: $422,400
Company: Post Holdings Inc. (POST)

Post Holdings Inc. is a consumer packaged goods holding company that operates companies in the center-of-the-store, refrigerated, food service, and food ingredient sectors. Post Consumer Brands produces, promotes, and sells branded and private label ready-to-eat (RTE) cereals such as Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles, and Malt-O-Meal. Weetabix produces, markets, and sells branded and private-label RTE cereal under the Weetabix and Alpen brands, hot cereals, and other cereal-based food items and morning beverages. The Foodservice division manufactures and sells egg products in the food service and ingredient channels, notably under the Papetti’s and Abbotsford Farms brands. 

Thomas C. Erb serves on the Post Holdings, Inc. board of directors and is a member of the American Bar Association, the Missouri Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. He formerly served as Chairman of Lewis Rice LLC. Thomas C. Erb has a master’s degree from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois.

Opinion: One insider buying, another selling equal dollar amounts negates whatever info might be gleaned

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Name: Scott Wagner
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-14 Shares Bought: 8,750 Average Price Paid: $58.00 Cost: $507,500
Company: BILL Holdings Inc. (BILL)

BILL Holdings Inc. is the market leader in financial automation software for small and medium-sized enterprises. As an advocate for small and medium-sized enterprises, the company is automating the future of finance so businesses can prosper. Hundreds of businesses rely on BILL to better manage their payables, receivables, spending, and expenses. The network connects millions of members, allowing them to pay or get paid more quickly. The company is a valued partner of prominent US financial institutions, accounting firms, and accounting software vendors, with headquarters in San Jose, California. BILL’s purpose-built, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled financial software platform connects customers, suppliers, and clients in real time.

Mr. Scott W. Wagner serves as an Independent Director of Stratim Cloud Acquisition Corp., Nebula Caravel Acquisition Corp., TWC Tech Holdings II Corp., YAM Special Holdings, Inc., an Independent Director of Brigantine Acquisition Corp., and an Independent Director of Mistico Acquisition Corp. Mr. Wagner formerly worked at GoDaddy, Inc. as Chief Executive Officer and Director, GoDaddy.com LLC as Chief Executive Officer and Director, KKR Capstone as Head-North American Operations, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP as Investment Manager. He attended Yale University for his undergraduate studies and Harvard Business School for his MBA.

Opinion:  Bill Holdings has obviously done some things very right as revenues have grown steadily since its debut in 2020 as a public company.  Many SAS companies have strong recurring revenue growth rates and decent net retention rates, yet lots of unhappy shareholders. It does matter what you pay for a company.  Bill shareholders are unlikely ever to see 2021 prices in the $200’s unless competitor Quickbooks Online drops the ball.

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Name: Richard K Davis
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-16  Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $51.09 Cost: $255,437
Company: Dow Inc.(DOW)

Dow Inc. was formed under Delaware law on August 30, 2018, to act as a holding company for The Dow Chemical Company, and it runs all of its operations via TDCC. The Company’s headquarters are 2211 H.H. Dow Way, Midland, Michigan 48674. Dow combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, targeted innovation and materials scientific knowledge, market leadership, and environmental, social, and governance leadership to generate profitable growth and ensure a sustainable future. The firm aims to become the world’s most inventive, customer-centric, inclusive, and sustainable materials science firm. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings, and silicones businesses provides clients in high-growth industry categories such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility, and consumer applications with a diverse variety of unique, science-based products and solutions. 

Mr. Davis is the former Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Bancorp, the parent company of U.S. Bank, one of the country’s major commercial banks. From 2007 to 2018, he was senior Chairman; from 2006 to 2017, he was Chief Executive Officer. He has held many other senior roles at U.S. Bancorp, including President and Chief Operating Officer. Before joining Star Banc Corporation, one of U.S. Bancorp’s historical entities, Mr. Davis was an Executive Vice President at Bank of America and Security Pacific Bank. Mr. Davis was a Director of TDCC from May 2015 to September 2017, when he joined DowDuPont Inc. Davis stepped down from DowDuPont Inc. Board of Directors in April 2019. Since April 2021, Mr. Davis has served as Lead Director.

Opinion: Blue chip name that we would like to own, but it will take a lot more than a perfunctory Director purchase for us to get interested.

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Name: Theodore R. II Samuels  
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-20  Shares Bought: 8,500 Average Price Paid: $49.81 Cost: $423,385
Company: Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (BMY)

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. will continue to operate as a single division devoted to global biopharmaceutical pharmaceutical research, development, licensing, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and sale. The acquisitions of MyoKardia in 2020 and Turning Point in 2022 are intended to strengthen the position as a leading biopharmaceutical company by expanding the precision oncology and cardiovascular portfolios with several near-term assets and new external relationships. The basic strategy is to combine a pharmaceutical business’s resources, size, and expertise with the speed and focus on innovation of the biotech sector. As a biopharmaceutical company, the company focuses on discovering, developing, and delivering transformational medicines for patients suffering from serious diseases in areas where the company can make a meaningful difference: oncology, hematology, immunology, cardiovascular, and neuroscience. 

Mr. Samuels, 68, has been on the Board of Bristol-Myers Squibb since February 2017 and the Lead Independent Director since May 2021. Mr. Samuels has more than 35 years of experience in the financial sector. He contributes to the Board’s substantial commercial and operational skills, notably in economics, capital markets, and investment decision-making. Mr. Samuels was president of Capital Guardian Trust Company from 2010 to 2016 and a worldwide equities portfolio manager at Capital Group, one of the world’s most prestigious investment management firms, from 1990 to 2016. He worked on various management and investment committees at Capital Group, focusing on long-term shareholder value generation.

Opinion: Good contrarian buy indicator. Few analysts like Bristol Meyers. It’s easy to understand why.  Bristol Myers needs to replace six out of seven of its current top-selling drugs, or 83% of total 2022 revenue, to sustain sales. New product revenue growth is promising, but growth by acquiring promising new biotech companies isn’t guaranteed. On top of that, the CEO resigned unexpectedly in April.  Cantor recently cited lower conviction in the new product cycle and a more difficult macro backdrop for the downgrade. It calls Bristol Myers a “value trap.”

 It wouldn’t take much to change the stock trajectory when this hated.  BMY has a long history of paying dividends and even raising them.  The current dividend is 4.58%.  The complete history can be found on their website at https://www.bms.com/investors/stock-information/dividend-history.html. 

 

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Name: Stuart B. Parker
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-20  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $41.40 Cost: $413,960
Company: Kemper Corp (KMPR)

Kemper is a multi-faceted insurance holding company with subsidiaries that provide cars, homes, life, and other insurance products to people and corporations. The Kemper Group is one of the nation’s top specialist insurers. Kemper is changing the insurance industry by offering inexpensive and simple-to-use tailored solutions to people, families, and companies via its Auto, Personal Insurance, and Life brands. Kemper handles over 5.3 million policies, is represented by over 29,000 agents and brokers, and has roughly 9,500 personnel devoted to satisfying its clients’ ever-changing requirements. The Company operates in the property and liability insurance and life and health insurance industries via its subsidiaries. 

Mr. Parker has been a board of directors member since December 2020. Mr. Parker presently serves on the board of directors of Kemper Corporation, a specialist insurance firm, and was the Chief Executive Officer of USAA from 2015 until his retirement in February 2020. He worked at USAA for almost 21 years, serving as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Property & Casualty Insurance Group President, and Financial Planning Services President. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Valdosta State University and an MBA from St. Mary’s University. Mr. Parker is a renowned alumnus of the Air Force ROTC program who served in the United States Air Force for over ten years, including deployments to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Opinion: Many insurer’s bond investments will have dramatically increased earnings.  According to Piper, the stock’s valuation has become attractive. The analyst cites that auto insurance rates are rising quickly, and underlying underwriting results have already improved.

 

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Name: Matthew J Desch
Position: Chief Executive Officer
Transaction Date: 2023-11-20  Shares Bought: 28,000 Average Price Paid: $37.01 Cost: $1,036,280
Company: Iridium Communications Inc. (IRDM)

Iridium Communications Inc. is the only commercial communications service supplier that provides full global coverage, linking people, organizations, and assets in real-time to and from any place. The low-Earth orbit L-band network provides dependable, weather-resilient communications services to areas around the world where terrestrial wireless or wireline networks do not exist or are limited, such as remote land areas, open ocean, airways, the polar regions, and areas where political conflicts or natural disasters have impacted telecommunications infrastructure. The company offers voice and data communications services to companies, the United States and foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, and consumers via the satellite network, which comprises 66 operating satellites with in-orbit and ground spares and associated ground infrastructure. 

Matthew J. Desch has been the Chief Executive Officer and director since September 2009. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of the predecessor, Iridium Holdings LLC, from August 2006 to September 2009. Mr. Desch was Chief Executive Officer of Telcordia Technologies, Inc., a telecommunications software services business now part of Ericsson, from 2002 until 2005. He also serves on the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. He has been a director of Unisys Corporation, a publicly listed multinational information technology firm, since January 2019 and is a member of its Compensation Committee. Mr. Desch earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from The Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago.

Opinion: Slow growth and heavy dependency on the Government make us leary of this name. It doesn’t help to have a leading-edge competitor like Space X snapping at your heals.

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Name: Philippe Amouyal
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-17  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $33.18 Cost: $331,800
Company: Cava Group Inc.(CAVA)

CAVA Group, Inc. owns and runs a Mediterranean restaurant business. Salads, dips, spreads, toppings, and sauces are available from the brand. It distributes its goods at supermarkets and full food markets. The firm also offers online meal ordering. Cava Group, Inc. was created in 2006 and is headquartered in Washington, DC.

Philippe Amouyal has been a member of the Board of Directors since November 2018. Mr. Amouyal has been a Managing Director of The Invus Group, LLC since 1999. Mr. Amouyal formerly served as a Vice President and Director at The Boston Consulting Group from 1984 to 1999, overseeing the worldwide software and electronics business from 1990 to 1999. Mr. Amouyal now serves on the boards of directors of Lexicon Pharmaceuticals and several private Artal and Invus portfolio firms. Mr. Amouyal formerly served on the boards of WW International and Blue Buffalo Pet Products. Mr. Amouyal earned his M.S. in Engineering and DEA in Technology Management from École Centrale Paris, and he was a Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Policy Alternatives.

Opinion: Try eating there before you buy.

 

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Name: Glenn Coleman
Position: Executive VP & CFO
Transaction Date: 2023-11-20  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $29.70 Cost: $297,000
Company: Dentsply Sirona Inc.(XRAY)

Name: Simon D Campion
Position: President, CEO & Member of BOD
Transaction Date: 2023-11-20  Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $29.70 Cost: $297,000
Company: Dentsply Sirona Inc.(XRAY)

DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. is the world’s biggest producer of professional dentistry products and technology, with a 136-year history of innovation and service to the dental industry and patients worldwide. Dentsply Sirona develops, produces, and distributes complete solutions, including technologically sophisticated dental equipment and dental and healthcare consumable items, under a strong portfolio of world-class brands. Dentsply Sirona’s products offer innovative, high-quality, and effective solutions to increase patient care and provide better, safer, and quicker dentistry. Dentsply Sirona continues to make large expenditures in research and development (“R&D”), and its track record of developing creative and lucrative new products continues today. Dentsply Sirona’s global headquarters are in Charlotte, North Carolina, and company common stock is traded on the Nasdaq under the name XRAY.

Glenn Coleman has been the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since September 2022. Mr. Coleman formerly worked as Integra Lifesciences Holdings Corporation’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, a position he has held since 2019. Mr. Coleman formerly worked as Integra Lifesciences Holdings Corporation’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, a position he has held since 2019. Before joining Integra, Mr. Coleman spent 25 years in finance management roles with top global companies, including Curtiss-Wright Corporation and Alcatel-Lucent. He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Mr. Coleman graduated from Montclair State University and has been a CPA in New Jersey for over 25 years. 

Simon Campion will join Dentsply Sirona in September 2022 as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Simon Campion formerly worked at BD (Becton, Dickinson, and Company) as Executive Vice President and President of the Interventional and Medical sectors. Mr. Campion held many leadership positions within the C. R. Bard company in the United States and internationally before BD purchased C. R. Bard, including President of the Surgery business unit. He has worked in marketing and R&D at Cook Medical and Boston Scientific. Mr. Campion graduated from the University of Limerick in Ireland with a Bachelor of Engineering, a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, and an MBA from the Open University in the United Kingdom.

Opinion: This company has been in free fall for some time. It should be a case study on taking a dominant franchise and losing investors’ money. Perhaps a few too many rollups and no organic growth is the secret behind the misery.

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Name: Stephen J Luczo
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-13 Shares Bought: 62,500 Average Price Paid: $15.55 Cost: $971,875
Company: AT&T Inc. (T)

AT&T Inc. is a global provider of telecommunications and technology services. In Mexico, the Latin America segment offers postpaid and prepaid wireless services under the AT&T and Unefon brand names and sells smartphones through its stores, agents, and third-party retail outlets. This segment sells communications services and products under AT&T, Cricket, AT&T PREPAID, and AT&T Fiber. Previously known as SBC Communications Inc., the firm changed its name to AT&T Inc. in 2005. AT&T Inc. was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Mr. Luczo has served as the Managing Partner of Crosspoint Capital Partners, L.P. since February 2020. Mr. Luczo served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Seagate Technology plc from 2002 to July 2020 and as a member of the board of directors of Seagate until October 2021. Mr. Luczo joined Seagate’s predecessor firm as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development in 1993, joined its board of directors in 1998, and served as its CEO from 1998 to 2004 and again from 2009 to 2017. Mr. Luczo worked in investment banking before joining Seagate. He graduated from Stanford University with an A.B. in economics and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Opinion: Another above-average dividend payer, nearly 7%,  AT&T seems to be reimagining itself with a massive investment in fiber rollout.  Where this is enough to turn around the heavily indebted company is beyond our grasp. Perhaps Stephen Luczo has the answer to this.

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Name: James G Kelly
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-17  Shares Bought: 64,200 Average Price Paid: $15.50 Cost: $995,100
Company: NCR Voyix Corp (VYX)

NCR has grown organically and through acquisitions to add software, services, and other capabilities that complement or enhance the existing offer portfolio, including, but not limited to, payments and cryptocurrency acquisitions, digital banking, ATM-as-a-service offerings, and commerce platform offerings. NCR always assesses possible acquisitions and develops innovative solutions to support the Company’s long-term strategy. In 2021, NCR finalized the purchase of Cardtronics plc, among others, to advance the NCR-as-a-Service plan, which included the addition of the Allpoint debit network, which is extremely complimentary to the payments platform and allows the Company to link retail and bank clients. NCR acquired LibertyX in early 2022 to provide a fully digital currency solution, including the capacity to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies, execute cross-border transfers, and accept digital currency payments across digital and physical channels.

James G. Kelly most recently served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of EVO Payments, Inc. from May 2018 until Global Payments, Inc. acquired EVO in March 2023. Before EVO’s first public offering in 2018, he also served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of EVO Payments International from 2012 to 2018. EVO was a major payment technology and services company that provided various creative, dependable, and secure payment solutions to merchants ranging from small and mid-size businesses to multinational corporations and organizations worldwide. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Opinion: Just one more example of the status quo becoming extinct. NCR’s taken a long time to disappear, but the name change is just one more step in the process.  Perhaps a million dollars is just pocket change to Mr. Kelly, but its real money to the Insiders Not So Daily subscribers. 

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Name: Thomas B. Raterman   
Position: Chief Financial Officer
Transaction Date: 2023-11-21  Shares Bought: 17,351 Average Price Paid: $12.59 Cost: $218,471
Company: Runway Growth Finance Corp. (RWAY)

Name: David R Spreng   
Position: President and CEO
Transaction Date: 2023-11-21  Shares Bought: 17,351 Average Price Paid: $12.59 Cost: $218,471
Company: Runway Growth Finance Corp. (RWAY)

Runway Development Financing Corp is a specialty financing firm that makes senior secured loans to businesses with high development potential in technology, life sciences, healthcare information and services, business services, certain consumer services and goods, and other high-growth areas. The company’s mission is to generate substantial value for the investors and the entrepreneurs the company assists by offering hybrid debt and equity financing to high-growth-potential firms that are more flexible than conventional credit and less dilutive than equity. The company’s investment goal is to maximize overall return to investors via loan portfolio current income and capital appreciation on warrants and other equity holdings.

Thomas became Chief Financial Officer of Runway Growth Capital in 2015 and is a firm investment committee member. Thomas has over 30 years of expertise in corporate finance, investment banking, and financial executive/management with fast-developing entrepreneurial enterprises, including extensive knowledge in credit analysis, structuring, and lending. He is enthusiastic about corporate expansion. As a lender, investor, and executive, he is dedicated to assisting companies in growing financially and creating value for all stakeholders. Thomas started his professional career as a corporate lender with Continental Bank and Security Pacific Bank, and he progressed across the balance sheet over the following 12 years. Thomas earned a Masters of Management with a Finance specialization from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

David created Runway Growth Capital in 2015 and serves as the firm’s investment committee chairman. With 30 years of experience as a venture investor and growth loan lender, David is a seasoned and renowned Silicon Valley investment executive. As a venture capitalist, he has founded and grown approximately 50 technological businesses, including 18 IPOs and 14 trade sales. As a Co-Founder of Decathlon Capital Partners, a lender of revenue-based loans to small, fast-growing, bootstrapped businesses, David shifted from venture capital to growth financing in 2010. His time at Decathlon exposed him to the possibility of using debt instead of equity to fund the expansion of both venture-backed and non-venture-backed growing enterprises.

Opinion:

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Name: Ivan Kaufman    
Position: COB, CEO and President
Transaction Date: 2023-11-21  Shares Bought: 35,000 Average Price Paid: $12.18 Cost: $426,450
Company: Arbor Realty Trust Inc (ABR)

Arbor is a Maryland firm that was founded in 2003. The firm operates in two business segments: Structured Loan Origination and Investment Business, also known as “Structured Business,” and Agency Loan Origination and Servicing Business, also known as “Agency Business.” The Structured Business invests in a diverse portfolio of structured finance assets in the multifamily, single-family rental, and commercial real estate markets, primarily bridge loans, mezzanine loans, junior participating interests in first mortgages, and preferred and direct equity. The company originates, sells, and services various multifamily finance products through the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the Government National Mortgage Association, the Federal Housing Authority, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Agency Business. 

Ivan Kaufman is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Arbor Realty Trust, Inc., a prominent multifamily and commercial real estate lender and REIT. Mr. Kaufman formerly chaired the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission for New York’s 10th Judicial District. Mr. Kaufman’s extensive charitable donations include the recent launch of Aish Aspire, a Jerusalem-based investigation of the roots of Judaism, self, and spirituality for young women desiring to accelerate their Torah development. He also created the North Shore Hebrew Academy High School and served on the Birthright Israel Foundation’s board of trustees. He graduated from Hofstra University School of Law with a Juris Doctorate and from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.

Opinion:

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Name: Bruce C Strohm
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-17  Shares Bought: 85,149 Average Price Paid: $2.92 Cost: $248,395
Company: SmartRent Inc. (SMRT)

SmartRent Inc. is a real estate technology organization that offers a full management platform for property owners, managers, and occupants. The package of products and services, which includes both smart building hardware and cloud-based software-as-a-service solutions, offers real estate assets with seamless visibility and management. The platform reduces running costs, boosts revenues, reduces operational friction, and protects assets for owners and operators, all while offering residents a distinct, enhanced living experience. The company combines proprietary corporate software with third-party smart devices and other technological interfaces via a centrally connected device. The company uses an open-architecture, brand-independent strategy that enables owners, operators, and residents to control their smart home devices via a single linked interface.

Bruce Strohm, a private real estate investor, has been a director since the merger. Mr. Strohm formerly worked as the Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Equity Residential, 500 public business, from January 1995 until January 2018. From June 2019 until December 2020, he was Chief Legal Officer of Equity International, a private equity firm focused on investing in real estate outside the United States. Mr. Strohm worked closely with the CEO and CFO on capital markets operations and shareholder relations throughout his employment at Equity Residential and Equity International, supervising all legal concerns. Mr. Strohm has a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Illinois and a Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University Law School.

Opinion: Nothing that smart here.

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Name: Joseph M Wong
Position: Chief Technology Officer
Transaction Date: 2023-11-17  Shares Bought: 90,000 Average Price Paid: $2.48 Cost: $223,595

Transaction Date: 2023-11-15  Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $2.30 Cost: $57,515
Company: Advanced Emissions Solutions Inc. (ADES)

Advanced Emissions Solutions, Inc. offers solutions for the coal-fired power generating, industrial, and water treatment plant businesses. The firm was founded in 2011 and is based in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Customers include coal-fired utilities, industrials, water treatment facilities, and other diversified sectors, and the firm sells consumable goods that use AC and chemical-based technology. The unique technology and accompanying product offerings provide purification solutions to help the clients address the difficulties of present and possible future laws by reducing certain impurities and pollutants.

Joe is the Chief Technology Officer and has over 35 years of industry expertise in R&D, product development, and commercial growth in specialty materials. Joe worked as the Chief Technology Officer at ADA Carbon Solutions until joining Advanced Emissions Solutions in 2018. Joe spent three years in private consulting before joining ADA Carbon Solutions. He also spent 21 years with MeadWestvaco Corporation in various leadership roles in the Specialty Chemicals and Research and development sectors. Joe graduated from the University of Texas with a PhD in Chemical Engineering.

Opinion: The stock price appreciation winner for the week. 


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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.

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