Finally, there is some work to do in analyzing insider buying. It’s not much, but it’s better than the last three weeks of nonexistent purchases.  Still, the lazy move, and perhaps the best move, is to get on the AI bandwagon with the companies that have proven they can monetize Now.   The popular wisdom is that the stock market looks forward six months or so, but the reality is quite different. Earnings season is the proof of it. Companies that miss revenues and earnings expectations are punished with swift declines in share value. Those that significantly surpass expectations experience hefty, even double-digit percentage point gains in the immediate aftermath.  Companies that meet expectations, even those with promising futures and backlogs, barely elicit a yawn.  Why settle for good when extraordinary is just a click away?

Follow us on Twitter for real-time insider buying alerts at  You can be an insider, too– by clicking here


Finviz Chart

Name: Shiu Leung Chan
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-01 Shares Bought: 2,000 Average Price Paid: $568.00 Cost: $1,136,000
Company: Super Micro Computer Inc. (SMCI)

Super Micro Computer Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based provider of accelerated computing platforms, which are application-optimized high-performance and high-efficiency server and storage systems for a wide range of markets, including enterprise data centers, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 5G, and edge computing. The company Total IT Solutions includes entire servers, storage systems, modular blade servers, blades, workstations, full rack scale solutions, networking devices, server subsystems, server administration, and security software. They also offer global support and services to help their customers establish, upgrade, and maintain their computer infrastructure. The company provides its customers with a high level of flexibility and customization by offering a wide range of server models and configurations from which they may select the best solutions to meet their computing requirements.

Shiu Leung (Fred) Chan is the founder and current president of KCR Development, Inc., which has built real estate developments worth more than $1 billion in California and Hawaii, focusing on high-density residential and retail projects. Mr. Chan also has over 30 years of experience in high technology and as an entrepreneur. He most recently served as chairman of ESS Technology, Inc., a privately held semiconductor firm he created, from 2015 to 2019. Mr. Chan has previously held the positions of chairman of a privately held consumer electronics company, founder and executive officer of a VLSI chip design center that provides computer-aided design, engineering, and other design services, and co-founder and executive officer of a company that develops computer-aided engineering systems. Mr. Chan earned his B.S.E.E. and M.S.C. degrees from the University of Hawaii.

Opinion: There are not a lot of companies that can monetize AI now. SMCI is a poster boy of one that can.  Intimately tied to the meteoric rise of NVidia, it’s pretty unusual when a director buys another $1.1 Million of stock when it’s risen 700% in price during the last 12 months. But why not? The last time he purchased shares was August 2023, when he bought 4000 shares at $265.57. Trees don’t grow to the sky, but SMCI might touch the clouds- up 30% just days later.

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Name: Christopher L Winfrey
Position: President and CEO
Transaction Date: 2024-02-06 Shares Bought: 5,050 Average Price Paid: $295.29 Cost: $1,491,215
Company: Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR)

Charter Communications Inc. is a large broadband connectivity and cable operator, serving over 32 million consumers in 41 states under the Spectrum brand. The company provides a comprehensive suite of cutting-edge household and commercial services via an advanced communications network, including Spectrum Internet®, TV, Mobile, and Voice. Spectrum Business® offers the same suite of broadband products and services to small and medium-sized businesses, along with special features and applications to boost productivity, whereas Spectrum Enterprise® provides highly customized, fiber-based solutions to larger businesses and government entities. Spectrum Reach® provides targeted advertising and production for the new media landscape. Spectrum Networks provides customers with award-winning news and sports content. The company strategy focuses on the advancement of its network and goods, expanding its reach, and carrying out high-quality operations, including customer service.

Christopher Winfrey was selected Charter Communications’ President and CEO in December 2022 and joined the Board of Directors in November 2023. Mr. Winfrey has contributed significantly to Charter’s growth and change over the last decade. Since 2021, he has served as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all cable operations, including marketing, sales, field operations, and customer operations, as well as Spectrum Enterprise. Mr. Winfrey joined Charter as Chief Financial Officer in 2010, where he oversaw accounting, financial planning and analysis, procurement, real estate, tax, and treasury responsibilities, as well as mergers and acquisitions, capital structure initiatives, and investor relations. Before joining Charter, Mr. Winfrey was Chief Financial Officer of Unitymedia GmbH, Germany’s second-largest cable operator, as well as Managing Director of Unitymedia’s cable, broadcasting, and satellite businesses. He now serves on the boards of the NCTA, CableLabs, and the National Urban League. He holds a B.S. in accounting and an MBA from the University of Florida.

Opinion: Charter looks like the definition of catching a falling knife. 

Here are three reasons you might consider investing in Charter Communications (CHTR):

  1. Resiliency: Charter Communications has shown resilience in the face of cord-cutting trends. Despite an estimated 22.2 million U.S. households cutting the cord on cable, satellite, or telecom TV service, Charter Communications has remained a strong player1.
  2. Strong Performance Indicators: According to Zacks, Charter Communications has received a Value Score of A, a Growth Score of A, and a Momentum Score of A2. These scores indicate strong potential for growth and momentum in the company’s stock.
  3. Positive Analyst Ratings: Charter Communications has received a consensus rating of “Hold” with an average rating score of 2.31, based on 6 buy ratings, 9 hold ratings, and 1 sell rating2. This suggests that analysts have a generally positive view of the company’s future performance. “WRONG- you have to call this a hallucination. That’s a negative view, not positive.”

ChatGPT wasn’t helpful. What is Charter’s problem other than linear TV is in the midst of what seems like an existential disruption.  According to Gemini There are several factors contributing to the recent sell-off of Charter Communications (CHTR) stock:

Financial Performance:

  • Missed Earnings: CHTR reported a significant miss on its fourth-quarter earnings in February 2024, falling short of analyst expectations on both earnings per share and revenue. This led to a 15.7% drop in the stock price on that day. (Sources: Nasdaq:, The Motley Fool:
  • Declining Customer Base: The company also lost 61,000 residential and small business internet customers in the same quarter, raising concerns about subscriber churn and the potential for future revenue decline. (Source: Investopedia: <invalid URL removed>)
  • Negative Earnings Growth: While not necessarily worse than other companies, CHTR’s recent negative earnings growth has caused some investors to be wary of the future performance. This could be putting downward pressure on the P/E ratio. (Source: Simply Wall St: <invalid URL removed>)

Industry Competition:

  • Fiber and Wireless: CHTR, along with other cable providers, faces increasing competition from leading telecom companies offering wireless and fiber services. This competition could further erode its customer base and market share. (Sources: Investopedia: <invalid URL removed>, Simply Wall St: <invalid URL removed>)

Technical Indicators:

  • Death Cross: CHTR’s chart recently formed a “death cross” technical pattern, where the 50-day moving average fell below the 200-day moving average. This is often seen as a bearish signal and can trigger additional selling from technical traders. (Source: Investopedia: <invalid URL removed>)

It’s important to note that these are just some of the possible reasons for the stock’s decline. The actual factors at play can be complex and multifaceted. Investors should always conduct their own research and consider seeking professional financial advice before making any investment decisions.

Finviz Chart

Name: Stanley A Galanski
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-06 Shares Bought: 7,000 Average Price Paid: $58.45 Cost: $409,150
Company: Axis Capital Holdings Ltd (AXS)

AXIS is a global specialist underwriter and supplier of insurance and reinsurance solutions, with locations in Bermuda, the United States, Europe, Singapore, and Canada. The company’s underwriting operations revolve around their worldwide underwriting systems, AXIS Insurance, and AXIS Re. The company offers a wide range of risk transfer products and services to clients and distribution partners, as well as significant capacity supported by exceptional financial strength. They manage their portfolio holistically, to achieve the best risk-reward balance commensurate with their risk tolerance and business development. They cultivate an ethical, entrepreneurial, disciplined, and diverse culture that values exceptional client service, prudent risk-taking, operational efficiency, corporate citizenship, and achieving superior risk-adjusted returns for our shareholders. The company thinks that meeting the objectives will position it as a worldwide leader in specialized risks, allowing it to provide long-term profitable growth and improved shareholder value.

Stanley Galanski joined the board in January 2024. Mr. Galanski has approximately 40 years of experience in the property and casualty insurance sector. He is presently the CEO of G58 Capital, an insurance advising and consultancy firm. Mr. Galanski was President and CEO of The Navigators Group, a NASDAQ-listed worldwide specialty insurer. He ran the company from 2003 until it was acquired by The Hartford in 2019. He previously served as CEO of Intercargo Corporation, a global NASDAQ-listed specialty insurance, for two years before its 1999 sale to XL Capital. Mr. Galanski’s previous jobs included two years as President of New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG affiliate, and 15 years at Chubb in various managerial and underwriting positions. Mr. Galanski earned a BA from the University of Pittsburgh.

Opinion: Insurance is hot right now as carriers seem to have pricing power.  Reinsurers should also be doing well but AXS is undergoing some kind of reinvention.  I think I would wait this one out to see if this is a  more durable trend or what kind of moat they develop.

Finviz Chart

Name: Warren E Buffett / Berkshire Hathaway Inc
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2024-02-01 Shares Bought: 4,302,324 Average Price Paid: $57.15 Cost: $245,879,813
Company: Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY)

Occidental’s core businesses are organized into three reporting segments: oil and gas, chemical and midstream, and marketing. The oil and gas segment discovers, develops, and manufactures oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. The chemical industry is primarily responsible for producing and marketing basic chemicals and vinyl. The midstream and marketing industry buys, sells, collects, processes, transports, and stores petroleum, natural gas, CO2, and electricity. It also expands its transportation and storage capacity while investing in companies such as WES. Human Resources oversees Occidental’s human capital resources and objectives with the assistance of business management. The Board of Directors’ Sustainability and Shareholder Engagement Committee, as well as its Environmental, Health, and Safety Committee.

Warren Edward Buffett, an American businessman and philanthropist, was born on August 30, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska. He is acknowledged as the most successful investor of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Buffett, sometimes known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” was the son of Howard Homan Buffett, a Nebraska politician. After earning a B.S. from the University of Nebraska in 1950, he studied under Benjamin Graham at Columbia University’s School of Management. Buffett moved to Omaha in 1956 and, in 1965, acquired a controlling stake in textile maker Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which he used as his primary investment vehicle.

Opinion: Berkshire Hathaway’s share price is hitting all-time highs, but its massive position in Occidental and Apple have done little to help it this year.

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Name: Kirk S Hachigian
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-07 Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $55.84 Cost: $1,116,700
Company: Nextera Energy Inc (NEE)

NEE is one of North America’s top electric power and energy infrastructure companies, as well as a pioneer in the renewable energy sector. NEE has two primary companies: FPL and NEER. NEER is the world’s largest wind and solar energy generator, as well as a global leader in battery storage. The strategic goal of NEER is to develop, construct, and manage long-term contracted assets in the United States and Canada, principally renewable production facilities, battery storage projects, and electric transmission lines. In January 2019, NEE acquired Gulf Power Company, a rate-regulated electric utility in northwest Florida that generates, transmits, distributes, and sells power. FPL and Gulf Power Company merged on January 1, 2021, with FPL surviving. In 2021, FPL was still regulated as two independent rate-making corporations in the former FPL and Gulf Power Company service zones.

Mr. Hachigian was chairman of the board of JELD-WEN Holding, Inc., a window and door manufacturer, from April 2014 until May 2019. He also served as CEO of JELD-WEN Holding, Inc. from April 2014 to November 2015. He was chairman, president, and CEO of Cooper Industries plc (“Cooper”), a publicly traded electrical equipment and tool maker, until it was acquired by Eaton Corporation in November 2012. He was appointed chairman of Cooper in 2006, CEO in 2005, and President in 2004. He has served as a director of PACCAR, Inc. since 2008 and Allegion plc since 2013. Mr. Hachigian has been a director of NextEra Energy since 2013.

Opinion: The worst performing sectors one year often turn into the best performing sectors the following year. If you want to find one sector of the market that has suffered the last 18 months, it’s the alternative energy space. With all the hype and promise of decarbonizing, little real results are apparent and both alternative providers like solar, wind, and batteries have all had material stock declines.  The fossil fuel giants, although immensely profitable, have had miserable stock performance as well.  Solar installations have tripled in the last five years while natural gas based power plants grew by 10.7%, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). However, this represents a slower pace than the 18.4% growth observed between 2013 and 2018.  

Finviz Chart

Name: Stacy J Smith
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-02 Shares Bought: 9,450 Average Price Paid: $26.35 Cost: $249,018
Company: Wolfspeed Inc. (WOLF)

Name: John B Replogle
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-02 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $26.04 Cost: $260,358
Company: Wolfspeed Inc. (WOLF)

Name: Darren R Jackson
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-02 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $25.80 Cost: $257,954
Company: Wolfspeed Inc. (WOLF)

Wolfspeed, Inc. is a Durham, North Carolina-based company that was created in 1987. Wolfspeed, Inc. is a wide bandgap semiconductor inventor specializing in silicon carbide and gallium nitride materials and devices for power and radio frequency applications. Their product lines include silicon carbide and GaN materials, as well as power and RF devices, with applications ranging from electric vehicles to rapid charging, 5G, renewable energy and storage, and aerospace and defense. Electric vehicles, motor drives, power supply, solar applications, and transportation all use the materials and power devices manufactured by the company. The majority of items are produced in North Carolina, California, and Arkansas. The silicon carbide power products outperform equivalent silicon power devices in terms of efficiency and switching speed, resulting in a smaller and lighter system. Customers and distributors purchase power items for use in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, server power supplies, solar inverters, uninterruptible power supplies, industrial power supplies, and other applications.

Mr. Smith has been a member of the board of directors since January 2023. He has been the Executive Chairman of Kioxia Corporation since October 2018, and the non-executive chair and member of the board of directors of Autodesk, Inc. since June 2018 and November 2011, respectively. Mr. Smith previously served as Group President of Sales, Manufacturing, and Operations at Intel Corporation from February 2017 to January 2018; Executive Vice President of manufacturing, Operations, and Sales from October 2016 to February 2017; Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer from November 2012 to October 2016; Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer from January 2010 to November 2012; and Vice President, Chief Financial Officer from 2007 Mr. Smith is also a member of the California Chapter of The Nature Conservancy’s Board of Trustees and the University of Texas McCombs School of Business Advisory Board.

Mr. Replogle has been a member of the Board of Directors since January 2014. Since October 2017, he has been a Founding Partner of One Better Ventures, LLC, a venture capital firm that invests in good consumer brands. From March 2011 to October 2017, he was the CEO and President of Seventh Generation, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of eco-friendly household products. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Replogle was President and CEO of Burt’s Bees, Inc., and from 2003 to 2006, he was General Manager of Unilever Skin Care. He formerly worked for Diageo, Plc for seven years in a variety of roles, including President of the Guinness Bass Import Company and Managing Director of Guinness Great Britain. He began his career with the Boston Consulting Group. Mr. Replogle now serves on the board of directors of Grove Collaborative, Inc. 

Mr. Jackson joined the Board of Directors in May 2016 and served as Chairman from October 2018 until October 2023. He was a member of Advance Auto Parts, Inc.’s Board of Directors from July 2004 to January 2016, and its CEO from January 2008 to January 2016.  Mr. Jackson was also President of Advance Auto Parts from January 2008 to January 2009 and January 2012 to April 2013. Before this, Mr. Jackson held a variety of executive positions at Best Buy Co., Inc., a specialty retailer of consumer electronics, office supplies, appliances, and software, culminating in his role as Executive Vice President of Customer Operating Groups from July to December 2007. Mr. Jackson joined Best Buy in 2000 and was promoted to Executive Vice President-Finance and Chief Financial Officer in February 2001. Before 2000, he was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Nordstrom, Inc. Full-line Stores, a fashion specialty retailer, and held several top roles, including Chief Financial Officer of Carson Pirie Scott & Company, a regional department store chain.

Opinion: Wolfspeed is a prime example of ‘what can you do for me now mentality’ that pervades Wall Street traders and investors alike. “We’re proud of our results this quarter, which reflect robust execution of our strategy and fortify our vision for the future of Wolfspeed and silicon carbide,” said Wolfspeed CEO, Gregg Lowe. …This is demonstrated by a record $2.9 billion of design-wins, predominantly in the EV sector across multiple OEMs. ”  EVs? That’s so yesteryear or is it?

Finviz Chart

Name: James Kao
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-01-31 Shares Bought: 32,000 Average Price Paid: $17.56 Cost: $562,020
Transaction Date: 2024-02-06 Shares Bought: 15,000 Average Price Paid: $16.87 Cost: $253,100
Company: RBB Bancorp (RBB)

RBB Bancorp was established in 2008 as a California state-chartered commercial bank. The Bank was founded by a group of highly experienced bankers, some of whom began their careers in Asia and later collaborated in various banks in California during the 1980s and 1990s. After many years of working in positions of increasing responsibility at such banks, these individuals saw an opportunity resulting from the 2007 credit crisis to capitalize on the general dissatisfaction that many customers had with the nature and level of services provided by existing Asian-American and Chinese-American banks. The Bank’s management team has used their strong local community ties, as well as their credibility and relationships with both federal and California bank regulatory agencies, to create a bank that we believe emphasizes strong credit quality, a solid balance sheet free of other banks’ troubled legacy assets, and a robust capital base with the ability to raise additional capital.

James W. Kao, Ph.D. Dr. Kao is the Chairman of the Board and has been a member since 2015. Dr. Kao spent a long and illustrious career in the research and development department of Philip Morris, USA. Since his retirement in 1998, Dr. Kao has been a successful investor in a number of businesses. Dr. Kao earned a B.A. from National Taiwan University, an M.B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Ph.D. from Miami University. Dr. Kao’s expertise as an investor, as well as his educational background, were examined by the Board when deciding whether he should serve on it. 

Opinion:  Community banks are black boxes. This one even has the abbreviation in its stock symbol RBB aka R Black Box.

Finviz Chart

Name: Douglas A Cifu
Position: Chief Executive Officer
Transaction Date: 2024-02-07 Shares Bought: 50,000 Average Price Paid: $16.21 Cost: $810,410
Company: Virtu Financial Inc. (VIRT)

Virtu Financial Inc. is a prominent financial services organization that uses cutting-edge technology to provide liquidity to global markets and innovative, transparent trading solutions to clients. The company provides clients with a complete product package that includes execution, liquidity sourcing, analytics, and broker-neutral, multi-dealer workflow technology platforms. The product offerings enable their clients to trade on hundreds of venues in over 50 countries and across numerous asset classes, including global stocks, Exchange Traded Funds, options, foreign exchange, futures, fixed income, cryptocurrencies, and a wide range of other commodities. The company believes that the broad diversification, combined with a proprietary technology platform and low-cost structure, provides them with the scale they need to expand business globally as the service clients and facilitate risk transfer between global capital market participants by providing liquidity, all while earning attractive margins and returns.

Douglas Cifu is the CEO of Virtu Financial and co-founded the company in 2008. He previously worked as a partner with the international legal firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Mr. Cifu worked for Paul Weiss as a member of the Management Committee, Deputy Chair of the Corporate Department, and co-head of the Private Equity Group. He is listed in Chambers USA and Legal 500 as a top mergers and acquisitions lawyer for buyouts and private equity operations. In 2006, Private Equity International named him one of the 30 most significant lawyers working in global private equity, highlighting his experience in technology-driven sectors. The Financial Technology Report ranked him third among top FinTech CEOs in 2020. He is a member of the US Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors as well as Columbia College’s board of visitors at Columbia University. Mr. Cifu got his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1990 and his B.A. magna cum laude from Columbia University in 1987, where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Opinion: Virtus came to some prominence from Michael Lewis’s book Flash Boys talking about the little know firms that were having an outsized market impact by basically eavesdropping on institutional and retail directed order flow and picking off pennies from the fire hose of trading volumes.  It’s hard to say what Virtu does but whatever it is, it seems to be less profitable as it reported Q$ revenue of $539 million when the Street was expecting $286.54 million while disappointing investors by making only EPS 27c versus consensus 41c


Finviz Chart

Name: Alessandro DiNello
Position: Executive Chairman
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 50,000 Average Price Paid: $4.19 Cost: $209,480
Company: New York Community Bancorp Inc (NYCB)

Name: David L Treadwell
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 15,000 Average Price Paid: $4.17 Cost: $62,550
Company: New York Community Bancorp Inc (NYCB)

Name: Peter Schoels
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 100,000 Average Price Paid: $4.15 Cost: $414,750
Company: New York Community Bancorp Inc (NYCB)

Name: Lee Matthew Smith
Position: SEVP & President of Mortgage
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $4.05 Cost: $101,250
Company: New York Community Bancorp Inc (NYCB)

Flagstar Bank N.A.’s bank holding company is New York Community Bancorp, Inc. The company became public in 1993 and has developed both organically and through a series of accretive mergers and acquisitions, culminating in its latest acquisition of Flagstar Bancorp, Inc., which concluded on December 1, 2022.  As of December 1, 2022, in connection with the Parent Company’s acquisition of Flagstar Bancorp, (i) Flagstar Bank, FSB was converted to a national bank to be known as “Flagstar Bank, N.A.” and (ii) New York Community Bank was merged with and into Flagstar Bank N.A., with Flagstar Bank N.A. continuing as the surviving entity.  New York Community Bancorp, Inc. holds market-leading positions in various national industries, including multi-family lending, mortgage origination and servicing, and warehouse financing. The Company is the country’s second-largest multi-family portfolio lender and the market leader in New York City, where it specializes in rent-regulated, non-luxury apartment buildings. In terms of overall obligations, the company is also the second-largest mortgage warehouse lender in the country.

Alessandro DiNello is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of New York Community Bancorp, Inc. and its bank subsidiary, Flagstar Bank, N.A. He also sits on the Executive, Board Credit, and Technology Committees of the Company and Bank. Before the merger, he was President, CEO, and Director of Flagstar Bank and Flagstar Bancorp since mid-2013. He formerly served as Flagstar Bank’s President and Chief Administrative Officer, as well as Executive Vice President of Retail Banking for several years. He started his financial career as a bank examiner before joining Security Savings Bank in Jackson, Michigan, where he eventually became president. During his time at Flagstar, he oversaw branch banking, retail product planning, marketing, communications, internet banking, and branch expansion. He is a former director of the Western Michigan University Foundation and a member of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s National Board of Trustees, where he serves as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chairman.

David L. Treadwell is a director of both New York Community Bancorp, Inc. and its bank affiliate, Flagstar Bank, N.A. He joined Flagstar’s board in 2009. In addition to chairing the Risk Assessment Committee, he is a member of the Audit Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. From 2006 to 2011, he was President and CEO of EaglePicher Corporation. He formerly served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer and Division President. He spent 19 years with Prechter Holdings, eventually becoming CEO. He also sits on the board of Visteon Corporation. He has worked as a public company director for U.S. Well Services and Fairpoint Communications. He has served on and chaired several private company boards throughout his career.

Peter Schoels is a director on the boards of New York Community Bancorp, Inc. and Flagstar Bank, N.A., its bank subsidiary. In 2013, he joined the Flagstar board. He is also a member of the Nominations, Corporate Governance, and Technology committees. He has been a managing partner at MP Global Advisers since 2009, and a partner since 2002. He also serves on MaltinPatterson Global Advisors’ investment committee and manages the firm’s control and illiquid investments. Before joining MatlinPatterson, he worked as a vice president in Credit Suisse’s Global Distressed Securities Group and as a director of Finance and Strategy at Itim Group plc. Previously, he worked as a mergers and acquisitions manager at Ispat International NV, which is now part of ArcelorMittal.

Lee Smith is Senior Executive Vice President and President of Mortgage at New York Community Bancorp, Inc. In this position, he is in charge of directing and overseeing all elements of mortgage lending, including mortgage sales and originations, secondary and capital markets, mortgage fulfillment operations, and mortgage servicing, as well as the strategic expansion of the mortgage and servicing businesses. He joined Flagstar in 2013 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, a role he held until his promotion as Mortgage Head in 2020. Before joining Flagstar, he was a partner at MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC, a New York-based private equity fund, where he managed portfolio companies in a variety of industries and served on several boards. He formerly worked as a senior director at Zolfo Cooper LLC, a firm that provided advising and interim management services. He also worked as a vice president for Ernst & Young’s national restructuring group in New York and the United Kingdom. He is a member of the English and Welsh Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Opinion: JP Morgan downgraded New York Community Bancorp to Neutral from Overweight with a price target of $5.50, down from $11.50. The analyst confirmed the company’s Chief Risk Officer and Chief Audit Executive had both left. New York Community’s choice not to disclose the departures of key executives coincident with Moody downgrades. A few executives bought shares and the stock rallied 14%.  Dealers choice?

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Insiders sell the stock for many reasons, but they generally buy for just one – to make money. You’ve always heard the best information is inside information.  Everyone 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