FOMO  (fear of missing out in a year when the S&P is up over 20%) is in full swing. One thing not making the headlines is the market is essentially where it was two years ago, with investors on a roller coaster ride.  AI will improve everything except the Tesla pickup, and gasoline is the cheapest at the pump in years, even as the world seems to be throwing in the towel on preventing climate change. All that ESG and green talk seems to be more expensive than anyone wants to pay for.

The magnificent seven took the week off as the market seemed to genuflect over signs of a weakening economy and the potential for rate relief from the Federal Reserve. The regional bank index, KRE, rallied 2.5% on Friday, and beaten-down healthcare REITS like PEAK and HRC, with hefty insider buys, rallied sharply.  The Fed’s inflation-fighting policy of stealing from the young to fatten the pocketbooks of the coupon-clipping elderly rich may be coming to an end.

I’m tired of hearing the comparison that mortgage rates and the stock market handled interest rates this high for many years without much difficulty.  That may be true, but homes cost a lot less, and the dividend yield of the S&P 500 was significantly higher.  I forgot to mention with the exception of hedge funds adding to their 10% holdings; there is a notable lack of insider buying. This week’s slim pickings are about all there is in this XMAS stocking.

Ironically, as the Federal Reserve worries about its inflation-fighting credentials, Congress is frozen with inaction, the world grows increasingly darker, and the U.S. dollar dominance seems questioned by the relentless rise of Bitcoin this year.  That is, in spite of the SEC suing Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, and collecting a $4 billion fine and some short imprisonment for its CEO.  Its biggest U.S.-based competitor crypto exchange, Coinbase, triples in a year; the SEC is suing them as well.  The world-based order that has existed since WWI seems like it is tottering.  Not to worry, everything is for sale in the U.S. as giant financial institutions race to form the first Bitcoin ETF.

 

You can be an insider, too– by clicking here

Finviz Chart

Name: Walden C Rhines
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-27 Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $93.19 Cost: $465,950
Company: Qorvo Inc. (QRVO)

Qorvo® is a worldwide pioneer in researching and marketing wireless, wired, and power technologies and solutions.The company altered its organizational structure from two to three operational segments (High-Performance Analog, Connectivity, and Sensors Group, and Advanced Cellular Group) in the second quarter of fiscal 2023. This modification better-matched technology and applications with customers and end markets. All prior-period segment data has been modified to account for these three operational segments. As part of the new organizational structure, the firm has consolidated the sales teams that were previously divided into two sectors into a single worldwide sales force. The firm believes that having a worldwide sales team allows it to capitalize on possibilities across clients and markets more rapidly, accelerating long-term diversified growth.

Dr. Rhines has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Qorvo since November 2023. In January 2015, he was appointed to the Board of Directors. He was a director of TriQuint Semiconductor from 1995 until 2015. He has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Cornami, Inc., a semiconductor processor business focusing on completely homomorphic encryption, since March 2020. He has been the Chief Executive Officer of Rhines Consultants, a semiconductor, integrated circuit design, and manufacturing consulting business, since October 2019. Dr. Rhines received the Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award from the Global Semiconductor Alliance in 2021, which acknowledges people for their remarkable achievements and leadership in the industry.

Opinion: Post on the Fly reports Gordon Haskett’s head of event-driven research, Don Bilson notes that Barclays kicked off 13F season yesterday, and the analyst calls out Qorvo (QRVO) as “the most suspicious ‘increase’ we noticed in Barclay’s filing.”  The Chairman of the Board just announced he was retiring at the end of his 2024 term.  Then he caps that off with a $465.95K purchase of stock on the open market.  In a market with fish snapping out at anything that shows a bounce back move, QRVO is certainly worth taking a flyer on.

Finviz Chart

Name: David M Maura
Position: Executive Chairman and CEO
Transaction Date: 2023-11-27 Shares Bought: 40,000 Average Price Paid: $66.72 Cost: $2,668,700
Company: Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. (SPB)

Name: Ehsan Zargar
Position: EVP, GC & Corporate Secretary
Transaction Date: 2023-11-27 Shares Bought: 1,053 Average Price Paid: $66.50 Cost: $70,025
Company: Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. (SPB)

Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc is a worldwide branded consumer goods and home necessities firm with a diverse product portfolio. The corporate level determines global and regional strategic aims and financial objectives. Each segment executes stated strategic goals and meets certain financial targets. Each segment has a president in charge of sales and marketing activities and financial outcomes for all product lines within that segment. Finance and accounting, information technology, legal and human resources, supply chain, and commercial activities are backed by center-led shared service-enabling tasks. The following is a summary of the consolidated company, with net sales by segment and geographic area sold as a proportion of consolidated net sales for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022.

David M. Maura served as  Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in July 2018. Previously, he served as SPB Legacy’s Executive Chairman, beginning in January 2016, and Chief Executive Officer, beginning in April 2018. Previously, Mr. Maura was a Vice President and Senior Analyst at Wachovia Securities’ High Yield Group, covering numerous consumer goods, service, and retail firms. Mr. Maura started his work with ZPR Investment Management as a Financial Analyst. Mr. Maura was the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Mosaic Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, from October 2017 to January 2020, when the firm merged with Vivint Smart Home, Inc. Mr. Maura has a B.S. in Business Administration from Stetson University and is a CFA charter holder.

Ehsan Zargar is the Secretary, Executive VP, and General Counsel of Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. and Co-Managing Director at Tetra GmbH, Co-Managing Director at 8 in 1 Pet Products GmbH, Co-Managing Director at Spectrum Brands Germany GmbH, Co-Chief Executive Officer of RRH France SAS, President, Secretary & Director at NZCH Corp., and Secretary, Executive VP & General Counsel for SB. He formerly worked as an Associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and as COO, Secretary, Executive Vice President, and General Counsel at HRG Group, Inc. Mr. Zargar has a graduate degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law as well as an undergraduate degree.

Opinion: SPB drops 10% on lowered revenue expectations. Maura buys $2.6M of stock in rebound inspiring confidence play. I’m not a fine of growth by acquiring brands in the long term.

Finviz Chart

Name: Joseph P Jr Lacher
Position: President and CEO
Transaction Date: 2023-11-28  Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $43.20 Cost: $216,000
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.

Joseph P. Lacher, Jr., has been the Chief Executive Officer and President at Kemper Corporation since November 2015. Mr. Lacher was President of Allstate Protection Company until July 17, 2011. He was formerly an Executive Vice President and Senior Vice President of Allstate Insurance Company. Mr. Lacher served as Executive Vice President of Select Accounts and has held numerous executive and managerial roles with Travelers Property Casualty Corp. since 1991. Mr. Lacher was Senior Vice President of Pricing, Product, and Underwriting for Personal Lines at Travelers. Since November 2015, he has served as a Director of Kemper Corporation. Travelers Insurance Group Holdings, Inc. appointed him as a director. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Opinion: Although not a large purchase, this is a follow on buy from the previous week. Always a confidence-building move. There is probably something here for patient investors but it’s hard to get enthusiastic about being a long term investing.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Gregory T Lucier
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-22 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $31.44 Cost: $314,400
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, 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.

Mr. Lucier was formerly the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NuVasive. Mr. Lucier formerly served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Life Technologies for eleven years. Mr. Lucier was the CEO of Life Technologies at the time of its purchase by Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2013. Mr. Lucier sits on the boards of Catalent, Berkley Lights, Maravai LifeSciences, and Epic Sciences, among others. He has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Penn State and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Opinion: XRAY has been a horrible performer. XRAY has been a serial acquirer, and the clock always catches up with growth by acquisition.  Maybe management has finally taken notice. Three insider buys of 10,000 shares seem like a statement of some sort. 

Finviz Chart

Name: Jeffrey A. Schwaneke
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-29 Shares Bought: 22,300 Average Price Paid: $11.22 Cost: $250,206
Company: Agilon health inc. (AGL)

Name: Steven Sell
Position: CEO & President
Transaction Date: 2023-11-21 Shares Bought: 44,690 Average Price Paid: $11.14 Cost: $497,739
Company: Agilon health inc. (AGL)

Agilon Health Inc. was founded in 2016, and the first cooperation with an anchor physician group was created in 2017. The Agilon platform supports the quick transition to a Total Care Model with technology, people, processes, and capital. The company’s purpose-built platform has an integrated set of features that are constantly being improved. The company is changing healthcare by allowing primary care doctors to be change agents in their communities. When equipped with the correct infrastructure and payment model, PCPs, with their patient-physician interactions, are best positioned to achieve substantial change in quality, cost, and patient experience. The company is set to change healthcare for seniors throughout the United States by combining the Agilon platform, a long-term partnership model with current physician groups, and a growing network of like-minded doctors.

Jeff Schwaneke joined the board of directors of Agilon Health in August 2022. Jeff was Centene Corporation’s former Executive Vice President of Health Care Enterprises. Jeff had many roles at Centene and helped raise financing and oversee smooth acquisitions. Jeff’s most recent position as EVP of Health Care Enterprises saw him in charge of Centene’s pharmacy business, which included Part D Medicare, dentistry and vision firms, and company-owned clinics. Before joining Centene, Jeff worked as Novelis, Inc.’s Assistant Controller and subsequently Chief Accounting Officer, and he previously worked in finance and accounting at SPX Corporation and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Jeff has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Missouri and is a CPA.

Steve Sell has been Chief Executive Officer, President, and Director since June 2020. Steve is an adviser to numerous early-stage healthcare startups in addition to his present job as Chief Executive Officer, President, and Director of Agilon Health. Steve was President, CEO, and Chairman of Health Net from March 2016 to June 2019 and President of the Western Region of Health Net from November 2008 to March 2016. Steve has a B.A. from Swarthmore College and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Opinion: AGL fell 20% on dismal 3rd Qtr results. This is a tough business model and I’d stay away.

Finviz Chart

Name: WG Biotech ApS
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-11-29 Shares Bought: 51,837 Average Price Paid: $5.97 Cost: $309,477
Company: Y-mAbs Therapeutics Inc. (YMAB)

Y-mAbs Therapeutics Inc. is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical business focusing on developing and commercializing new, antibody-based cancer therapy treatments. The firm is developing a diverse portfolio of novel medicines using its patented antibody platforms and strong experience in antibodies. The company’s sole licensed medicine, DANYELZA®, was granted rapid clearance by the United States Food and Medicine Administration, or the FDA, for the treatment in November 2020. DANYELZA is being commercialized in the United States and will begin distribution in February 2021. The business announced a distribution deal with WEP Clinical Ltd., or WEP, in December 2022 in conjunction with an early access program for DANYELZA throughout Europe and Asia.

Biotech ApS WG is a director of Y-Mabs Therapeutics Inc. Director Biotech Wg’s Strategic Investment in Y-mAbs Therapeutics Inc (YMAB).

Opinion: Coin toss, but at least you have an insider buying Usually small biotechs are a binary outcome suitable for speculators.

Finviz Chart

Name: Scott Wagner
Position: Interim Chief Executive Officer
Transaction Date: 2023-11-28 Shares Bought: 30,505 Average Price Paid: $5.91 Cost: $180,423
Company: GoodRx Holdings Inc. (GDRX)

GoodRx was developed to address the problems customers encounter when understanding, accessing, and financing healthcare. The company began with a prescription price comparison tool, providing consumers free access to lower-cost medication. Today, the company believes that the expanded platform improves the health and financial well-being of American families by providing easy access to price transparency and affordability solutions for generic and brand medications for both consumers and healthcare providers, as well as affordable and convenient medical provider consultations and lab tests, as well as other healthcare and wellness related content. The company sees great growth potential as the company continues to attract new consumers through existing offers, develop new offerings to address additional healthcare consumers’ needs, and enhance healthcare affordability and access for all Americans.

Scott Wagner has been serving as Interim CEO since April 2023. Scott formerly served as GoDaddy’s Chief Executive Officer and President/ Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer from 2012 until 2019. Scott came to GoDaddy from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, where he was a Partner from 2000 to 2012. Scott now serves on the boards of Bill and DoubleVerify, as well as GoFundMe and Kajabi, both public companies. He also serves on the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Leadership Council. Scott graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and Harvard Business School with an M.B.A.

Opinion: I have always been fascinated by this company as health insurance in the U.S. is so dysfunctional.  Wagner has a great pedigree and I’m watching this one with a small buy.

Finviz Chart

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: Hard to get excited about coal technology but this a speculative market and fish are snapping.


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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