Finviz Chart

Name: Roger M. Singer
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-12 Shares Bought: 500 Average Price Paid: $357.21 Cost: $178,605
Company: Everest Group Ltd. (EG)

Name: John A Graf
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-12 Shares Bought: 695 Average Price Paid: $356.75 Cost: $247,941
Company: Everest Group Ltd. (EG)

Name: James Allan Williamson
Position: EVP, Chief Operating Officer
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 700 Average Price Paid: $352.50 Cost: $246,750
Company: Everest Group Ltd. (EG)

Name: Mike Karmilowicz
Position: EVP, Pres/CEO Insurance Div
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 285 Average Price Paid: $352.39 Cost: $100,430
Company: Everest Group Ltd. (EG)

Name: Juan C Andrade
Position: President and CEO
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 720 Average Price Paid: $349.72 Cost: $251,798
Company: Everest Group Ltd. (EG)

Name: Mark Kociancic
Position: EVP & CFO
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 1,000 Average Price Paid: $349.00 Cost: $349,000
Company: Everest Group Ltd. (EG)

Everest Group, a Bermuda business, was founded in 1999 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Holdings. On February 24, 2000, a corporate restructuring was completed, and Group became Holdings’ new parent holding company. Holdings remain the holding entity for the entity’s U.S.-based businesses. By the February 24, 2000 restructuring, the Group formed a Bermuda-based reinsurance subsidiary, Everest Reinsurance (Bermuda), Ltd., which began operations in the second half of 2000. Everest Global Services, Inc., a Delaware subsidiary, was also founded to provide administrative tasks for the Group and its subsidiaries based in the United States and outside of the United States. The Company’s primary business, carried out through its operating sectors, is the underwriting of reinsurance and insurance in the United States, Bermuda, and foreign markets. The Company underwrites reinsurance through brokers and directly with ceding companies, allowing it to pursue business based on the ceding company’s preferred reinsurance purchase technique. 

Roger M. Singer was elected as director of Everest Reinsurance (Bermuda), Ltd. and Everest International Reinsurance, Ltd., both Bermuda subsidiaries of the Company, on January 17, 2012. In 2022, he was chosen Lead Independent Director. Roger, who is now retired, served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for OneBeacon Insurance Group LLC and its predecessors, CGU Corporation and Commercial Union Corporation, between August 1989 and December 2005. Roger was the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Commissioner of Insurance from July 1987 to July 1989, as well as its First Deputy Commissioner of Insurance from February 1985 to July 1987. He has previously worked in state and federal government, serving as Assistant Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, Assistant Attorney General of the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, and Staff Attorney at the Federal Trade Commission.

John A. Graf is the Non-Executive Vice Chairman of Global Atlantic Financial Group, having joined the Board of Directors following the acquisition of Forethought Financial Group in 2014. He was Forethought Financial’s Chairman and CEO from 2006 to 2014. Until December 2015, he was a non-executive director of QBE Insurance Group Limited, where he presided over the Investment and Personnel Committees. In 2005, he was Chairman, CEO, and President of AXA Financial, Inc., as well as Vice Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Operating Officer of its subsidiaries, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company and MONY Life Insurance Company. From 2001 until 2004, he was the Executive Vice President of Retirement Savings at AIG, as well as Vice Chairman and a member of the Board of Directors of AIG SunAmerica following AIG’s acquisition of American General Corporation in 2001, where he served as Vice Chair.

James (Jim) Williamson is the Executive Vice President, Group Chief Operating Officer, and Head of Reinsurance at Everest. Jim joined Everest in 2020 as Executive Vice President and Group Chief Operating Officer, and in 2021 he assumed additional responsibilities as Head of Reinsurance. He is also a director of International Re, Bermuda Re, and Everest Reinsurance Company, where he serves as Executive Vice President, COO, and Head of Reinsurance. Jim worked with Chubb for seven years before joining Everest, most recently as Division President, of North America Small Business, from January 2016 to September 2020. He has also held functional responsibility for actuarial, technology, and claims organizations during his career. Jim has a Bachelor of Science degree from Bryant College and a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mike became President and CEO of Everest Insurance® in 2020, and he also served as President of Everest Insurance® North America P&C from 2020 to 2023. Mike joined Everest Insurance® in 2015 and currently serves as Senior Vice President and President of Everest Specialty Underwriters Services, LLC, which includes the Executive Solutions Group, Professional Liability, Alternative Solutions, Political Risk & Trade Credit, and Surety segments. He also managed EverSports & Entertainment Insurance® Inc., Everest’s leading Sports, Entertainment, and Leisure insurance company. Mike has over 30 years of experience in the insurance sector, having held numerous managerial and underwriting positions with carriers like as Zurich and The Hartford. Mike earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Villanova University.

Juan C. Andrade is the President and CEO of Everest Group, Ltd., a top global provider of reinsurance and insurance solutions. Juan has 30 years of expertise in the insurance industry, having successfully led big and complicated domestic and foreign operations. He has held executive leadership positions in underwriting, product development and innovation, claims, sales and distribution, strategy creation, and overall management. Juan joined Everest from Chubb, where he oversaw the company’s general insurance business in over 50 countries outside of North America. Juan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism with a concentration in Political Science from the University of Florida and was named a Distinguished Alumni in 2018. He also has a Master of Arts degree in International Economics and Latin American Studies from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Mark Kociancic is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Everest. Mark is also a Director and Executive Vice President of Everest Denali Insurance Company, Everest Indemnity Insurance Company, Everest National Insurance Company, Everest Premier Insurance Company, and Everest Security Company. Mark also serves on the boards of International Re, Mt. Logan Re, Ltd., and Bermuda Re, as well as Everest Re, where he is the Director, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. He had previously held several senior executive positions with SCOR’s US operations beginning in 2006, before being designated Group Deputy Chief Financial Officer in 2012 and subsequently Group Chief Financial Officer. Mark has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto, a CPA credential from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, and a CFA designation from the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute.

Opinion: A parade of insiders bought stock, but it amounted to a paltry ~$1.5 million when all added up. It is better than the billions of dollars Bezos or the hundreds of millions that Zuck is unloading, but it is hardly a throat-ripping endorsement. It almost looked like window dressing as the company’s 4th quarter earnings release resulted in at least two major Wall Street analysts’ downgrades.

Finviz Chart

Name: Blake D. Moret
Position: President and CEO
Transaction Date: 2024-02-12 Shares Bought: 3,500 Average Price Paid: $283.64 Cost: $992,757
Company: Rockwell Automation Inc (ROK)

Rockwell Automation, Inc. is the world’s leading firm focused on industrial automation and digital transformation. The company understands and simplifies the customers’ complicated production difficulties, providing the most valuable solutions that combine technology and industry expertise. As a result, they increase their customers’ resilience, agility, and sustainability, giving them more opportunities to win. The company continues to operate as the Allen-Bradley Company, which was founded in 1903. When the old Rockwell International Corporation acquired the privately held Allen-Bradley Company in 1985, it was a leading North American maker of industrial automation equipment. The Company was formed in Delaware by a tax-free reorganization conducted on December 6, 1996, in which they sold their former aerospace and military assets to The Boeing Company.

Blake Moret is the Chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation, the world’s largest provider of industrial automation and digital transformation. As CEO, Blake is committed to implementing the company’s Connected Enterprise plan. Under his leadership, Rockwell Automation integrates control and information to enable industrial firms and their employees to become more productive, as well as the planet more sustainable. Blake began his career with Rockwell Automation in 1985 as a sales trainee and has since held leadership positions in numerous sectors of the business, including foreign assignments in Europe and Canada. Blake previously worked as Senior Vice President of Control Products and Solutions, one of the company’s two previous business segments. He is enthusiastic about workforce development and building a diverse global team of professionals who are capable and eager to accomplish their best work. Blake is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech.

Opinion:  Rockwell guided materially lower revenues and profit for 2024 on the 4th quarter 2023 earnings call. Reported sales growth of 0.5% – 6.5%; organic sales growth of (2.0)% – 4.0%.Diluted EPS $11.49 – $12.99; Adjusted EPS $12.00 – $13.50. The stock dropped 15% on that news.  It’s usually a positive sign when the long-time CEO opens up his wallet to buy company shares.  It has rebounded quite a bit from the initial print below $257 to close Friday at $279.72, still lower than the CEO’s $992 K purchase.  Barron’s headline summed it up well: “No one is optimistic about Rockwell Automation… but the CEO.” 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Michael S Weinbach
Position: President
Transaction Date: 2024-02-13 Shares Bought: 17,000 Average Price Paid: $71.16 Cost: $1,209,720
Company: Mr. Cooper Group Inc. (COOP)

Mr. Cooper Group Inc., comprising its consolidated companies, is the largest non-bank servicer of residential mortgage loans in the United States, according to the most recent Inside Mortgage Finance publications as of the third quarter of 2022, as well as a major mortgage originator. The company’s success is dependent on collaborating with residential mortgage borrowers, government-sponsored and private investors, and corporate partners to assist consumers in achieving house ownership and managing what is often their largest and most important financial asset. On March 31, 2022, the company sold certain assets and liabilities related to its servicing and subservicing technology platform for performing and non-performing mortgage loans. They handle loans on behalf of mortgage investors or owners. Servicing includes collecting loan payments, remitting principal and interest payments to investors, managing escrow funds for mortgage-related expenses like taxes and insurance, performing loss mitigation activities on behalf of investors, and otherwise managing the mortgage loan servicing portfolio.

Michael (Mike) Weinbach is President of Mr. Cooper Group, where he oversees operations such as originations, servicing, and technology. In January 2024, Mike joined Mr. Cooper. He previously worked for Wells Fargo as CEO of Consumer Lending, where he oversaw consumer lending and payment products and services across many businesses, including Home Lending, Auto Lending, Credit Cards, Merchant Services, Student Lending, and Personal Lending. Mike joined Wells Fargo in early 2020 after 16 years at JPMorgan Chase, where he most recently served as CEO of Chase Home Lending. He was a member of Chase’s Consumer Leadership Team and held sales, financial, and operations leadership positions in Consumer Banking, Business Banking, Home Lending, and Automotive. Mike Weinbach holds an undergraduate degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Opinion: COOP has been on a tear, and Weinbach’s significant purchase at the high normally shows that business is good and getting better. In this case, though, it is rather that he just got appointed CEO, and he’s putting some dollar decimal points down along with his 8-figure employment package.

Finviz Chart

Name: Dean Stoecker
Position: Director / 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2024-02-01 Shares Bought: 35,000 Average Price Paid: $47.46 Cost: $1,661,100
Company: Alteryx Inc. (AYX)

The Alteryx Analytics Automation Platform enables “analytics for all” through simple, end-to-end automation of data engineering, analytics, reporting, machine learning, and data science operations. The company platform enables corporations to democratize data analytics across their organizations for a wide range of use cases by incorporating embedded artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that expedite the discovery and sharing of analytics insights. Data professionals, regardless of technical expertise, are empowered to uncover insights and solve challenges, whether working in the cloud or on-premise. The platform provides insight-driven enterprises with a unified solution for automated data preparation and analytics, approachable machine learning, and AI-generated insights. Their platform is generally distributed through direct and indirect sales and marketing channels. The company has built solid partnerships with channel partners to assist them broaden their sales and marketing efforts abroad. 

Dean Stoecker is a co-founder and Executive Chairman of the Board. Dean started Alteryx in 1997 and served as CEO until October 2020, generating strong organic growth and a successful IPO in March 2017. Dean’s leadership and motivational abilities, as well as his ability to establish, convey, and execute a vision, were key drivers of the company’s 20-year success. Dean is committed to humanizing the realm of data science and analytics, as seen by the company’s culture, vast resources for ongoing education, and efforts to impact societal change. Dean formerly worked in sales and business leadership at Strategic Mapping and Dun & Bradstreet before co-founding Alteryx. Dean received his MBA from Pepperdine University and his undergraduate degree in international business from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Opinion: This one is a head-scratcher.  Alteryx, in December of last year, entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. and Insight Partners, two global private equity firms, at $48.25 per share in cash for each share of Alteryx Class A or Class B common stock that they own. This arbitrage hardly seems worth the effort for less than a dollar premium unless another bidder is forthcoming.  A founder and COB buying in front of an impending counteroffer is the definition of material information and illegal insider trading. A billionaire in their right mind would never take this risk of making a few million dollars trading on freedom-ending insider information.

Finviz Chart

Name: Robert M VanHimbergen
Position: Sr. VP, CFO
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 11,319 Average Price Paid: $45.23 Cost: $511,947
Company: Hillenbrand Inc. (HI)

Name: Kimberly K Ryan
Position: President & CEO
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 5,600 Average Price Paid: $44.94 Cost: $251,664
Company: Hillenbrand Inc. (HI)

Hillenbrand is a multinational industrial company that offers highly developed processing equipment and solutions to customers all over the world. The company portfolio consists of leading industrial brands that serve broad, appealing end industries such as durable plastics, food, and recycling. The company’s Purpose, Shape What Matters For Tomorrow™, drives to prioritize quality, cooperation, and innovation in creating solutions that benefit our people, customers, and communities. Hillenbrand’s portfolio consists of two reportable operating segments: Advanced Process Solutions and Molding Technology Solutions. Advanced Process Solutions is a prominent global supplier of highly engineered process and material handling equipment, systems, aftermarket parts, and services to a wide range of industries, including durable plastics, food, and recycling. Hillenbrand was incorporated in Indiana on November 1, 2007, and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on April 1, 2008, under the symbol “HI”.

Robert (Bob) VanHimbergen has been Hillenbrand’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since April 2022. Before that, he served as Hillenbrand’s Executive Vice President, Finance, since March 2022. He joined the company from Johnson Controls International plc, where he most recently served as Vice President and Corporate Controller since December 2017. He worked for Johnson Controls for 15 years, rising through the ranks to become the chief financial officer of Yangfeng Automotive Interiors in Shanghai, China. Mr. VanHimbergen worked with large global manufacturing organizations at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for nearly a decade before joining Johnson Controls. Bob is involved in non-profit organizations and now serves as Chairman of the Ascension Southeast Wisconsin Board and the Ascension Wisconsin Foundation.  He had served on several other Milwaukee-area non-profit boards and was named one of the Milwaukee Philanthropic 5 award winners in 2021.

Kimberly K. Ryan has been a director, President, and CEO of Hillenbrand since December 2021. Before becoming CEO, Ms. Ryan served as the Company’s Executive Vice President and was named incoming CEO for a transition that began in June 2021. Before that, she was SVP of Hillenbrand and President of the Company’s Coperion company from 2015 to 2021, as well as supervising Hillenbrand’s Rotex business for a portion of that time. She also served as President of Batesville from 2011 to 2015, during which time she was also appointed Senior Vice President of Hillenbrand. Ms. Ryan started her work at Batesville in 1989. Ms. Ryan previously served on the Board of Directors of Kimball International, Inc., a publicly traded manufacturing firm, where she was a member of the Audit Committee from 2014 to 2023. She served on the Board of Directors of Conexus Indiana from December 2018 to July 2021, and she was recently appointed to the National Manufacturers Association’s Board of Directors.

Opinion: 4th Qtr Revenue of $763 million increased 26% compared to the prior year, yet net income of $17 million decreased from $31 million in the prior year largely due to an increase in taxes associated with business acquisition and integration costs. It’s hard to be optimistic about a company deciding to get out of the death business they dominated, considering 10,000 people per day are turning 65.  Funeral business has good times ahead. Instead, someone is going to reinvent the casket business, and it won’t be them.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: William L Ballhaus
Position: Chairman, President & CEO
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 7,066 Average Price Paid: $28.74 Cost: $203,099
Company: Mercury Systems Inc (MRCY)

Name: David E. Farnsworth
Position: EVP, CFO & Treasurer
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 3,567 Average Price Paid: $28.09 Cost: $100,196
Company: Mercury Systems Inc (MRCY)

Name: Barry R Nearhos
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 3,500 Average Price Paid: $27.15 Cost: $95,025
Company: Mercury Systems Inc (MRCY)

Name: Howard L Lance
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 7,485 Average Price Paid: $26.77 Cost: $200,391
Company: Mercury Systems Inc (MRCY)

Mercury Systems, Inc. is a technology company that delivers processing power for the most demanding aerospace and defense applications. Based in Andover, Massachusetts, their end-to-end processing infrastructure enables a variety of aerospace and defense programs to be tailored for mission success in some of the most harsh and demanding environments. The processing capabilities of the firm platform include signal solutions, display, software applications, networking, storage, and secure processing. The company’s innovative solutions are mission-ready, software-defined, open, and modular, and they meet the clients’ existing cost and schedule requirements by letting them employ or modify products based on their purpose. At its most basic, they link what they do to their customers’ tasks, aiding those whose safety, security, and freedom are critical.

Mr. Ballhaus has extensive expertise in the aerospace, defense, and technology sectors, including several CEO positions. He previously served as Chairman and CEO of Blackboard, Inc., a renowned EdTech firm, from 2016 until its merger with Anthology in 2021. Before that, he was CEO and President of SRA International, Inc., a provider of information technology services, from 2011 until the formation of CSRA Inc. from SRA and CSC’s US public sector division. Mr. Ballhaus currently serves on the boards of several private companies, including Catalis, a provider of software and payments solutions for government customers, Elite, a vertical software business focused on the legal technology market, and Qmulos, a leading cybersecurity and IT compliance firm. Mr. Ballhaus earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis, as well as Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. 

Mr. Farnsworth was most recently the Chief Financial Officer of HawkEye 360, a radio frequency data analytics company that operates the world’s first commercial satellite constellation. He previously worked for Raytheon as Vice President and CFO of its Integrated Defense Systems business, CFO of its Intelligence, Information, and Services segment, CFO of its Technical Services business, and at Raytheon Corporate Headquarters, where he collaborated directly with the CEO and COO to drive strategic initiatives. Mr. Farnsworth now serves on the Board of Directors of Merrimack Valley Credit Union, a state-chartered community credit union, as well as the Board of USA Diving, the sport’s national governing organization. Mr. Farnsworth has a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in business administration from Boston University.

Mr. Nearhos is a retired partner at PwC with over 35 years of experience delivering assurance, business advising, and other services to clients in a variety of industries, including technology, medical sciences, telecommunications, and manufacturing. Mr. Nearhos was in charge of the strategy and operations of PwC’s Boston, Hartford, and Albany offices until his retirement in June 2015. During his tenure, he also led PwC’s Northeast Assurance business from 2005 to 2008, and he was a partner in PwC’s Assurance practice from 1989 to 2005. He served as a director of Virtusa Corporation, a publicly traded provider of IT services and outsourcing, from 2016 until its sale by private investors in 2021. Mr. Nearhos obtained his undergraduate degree from Boston College.

Barry R. Nearhos serves on the board of Mercury Systems, Inc. Mr. Nearhos is a retired partner at PwC who has over 35 years of experience delivering assurance, business advising, and other services to clients in a variety of industries, including technology, life sciences, telecom, and manufacturing. Before he departed from PwC in June 2015, Mr. Nearhos oversaw the firm’s Boston, Hartford, and Albany offices’ strategy and operations. During his time at PwC, he was also the leader of the firm’s Northeast Assurance practice, which he held from 2005 to 2008, and a partner in the Assurance practice from 1989 to 2005. He served as a director of Virtusa Corporation, a publicly traded IT services and outsourcing firm, from 2016 until it was acquired by private equity in 2021. Mr. Nearhos earned an undergraduate degree from Boston College.

Mr. Lance is the Managing Partner of Lance Advisors LLC, a firm that advises private equity and institutional investors. He is the non-executive Chairman of Summit Materials, a major aggregates and cement distributor, and Change Healthcare, a leading provider of healthcare information technology and services. He also serves as a Director of New Vista Acquisition Corporation, a SPAC that develops aerospace, defense, and logistics technology, as well as the non-executive Chairman of Covanta Energy LLC, a leading developer of sustainable environmental solutions. He previously served on the boards of four publicly traded companies: Ferrovial S.A., Eastman Chemical Company, Stryker Corporation, and Aviat Networks. Mr. Lance graduated from Bradley University with a bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s degree from the Krannert School of Management.

Opinion: A cascade of small buys by officers and directors seems designed to keep activist Jana Partners off their backs rather than to line their pockets. Unfortunately I’m invested in this value trap along with Jana but at least its a very minor position.

Finviz Chart

Name: Owen Ryan
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $25.90 Cost: $259,000
Company: Lincoln National Corp (LNC)

Lincoln National Corporation is a holding corporation that operates several insurance and retirement services through subsidiaries.  The company sells a wide range of products and solutions for wealth protection, accumulation, group protection, and retirement income through the business sectors.  In 1968, LNC was established under Indiana state law.  They have their primary executive offices in Radnor, Pennsylvania. The company also has Other Operations, which contains financial data for operations not directly tied to the business segments.  The Life Insurance segment focuses on creating and protecting wealth for its clients by offering life insurance products such as term insurance, both single and survivorship versions of indexed universal life insurance and variable universal life insurance products, linked-benefit products, and critical illness and long-term care riders that can be added to IUL or VUL policies. 

Owen Ryan currently serves as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of BlackLine, Inc., a firm that offers cloud-based accounting and finance solutions. Ryan has been a member of the BlackLine Board since August 2018, having previously served as a member and Chair of the Audit Committee, a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, and a Lead Independent Director before taking on the post of Chair in 2023. Ryan served as Chief Executive Officer, Managing Principal, and Chief Strategy Officer at Geller & Company and Geller Advisors, a strategic financial advising and asset management firm, from 2018 until 2022. Ryan spent most of his career at Deloitte from 1985 to 2016, where he served as CEO and Managing Partner of Deloitte Advisory from 2008. He has a Bachelor of Science from New Jersey City University, an M.B.A. from Columbia University, and is a qualified public accountant.

Opinion: High interest rates make annuity products far more attractive, but how long are rates going to be high?  LNC always looks cheap but actually makes investors poorer for the taking.  AKA value trap.

Finviz Chart

Name: Kim Scott
Position: President and CEO
Transaction Date: 2024-02-09 Shares Bought: 15,000 Average Price Paid: $19.14 Cost: $287,175
Company: Vestis Corp (VSTS)

Vestis Corporation was founded in 1936 and is headquartered in Roswell, Georgia. Vestis Corporation is a significant distributor of uniform rental and workplace supplies in the United States and Canada. The company offers uniforms, mats, towels, linens, restroom supplies, first-aid kits, safety goods, and other workplace supplies. They have over 75 years of experience in delivering uniforms and workplace supplies. Their customers work in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, hospitality, retail, food processing, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and automotive. The company serves a wide range of customers, from small, family-owned businesses with one location to huge enterprises and national franchises with several locations. They use the large footprint, supply chain, delivery fleet, and route logistics capabilities to serve customers regularly, usually weekly, and largely through multi-year contracts.

Kim Scott is Vestis’ President and CEO. She joined Aramark in October 2021 as President and CEO of Aramark Uniform Services, and she is preparing Vestis to become a standalone, independent public firm. Ms. Scott previously served as President of Terminix Residential from December 2019 to January 2021, and then as Chief Operating Officer of Terminix Global Holdings, Inc. from January 2021 to September 2021, supervising operations for both the residential and commercial divisions. Before joining Terminix, she was President of Rubicon Global from July 2018 to September 2019, following an 11-year career at Brambles Limited that included four years as President, of CHEP North America. Ms. Scott began her career in industrial production, working for the General Electric Company and U.S Steel.

Opinion: Peter Lynch used to love spin-offs.  Give managers ownership, unleash them, and hop along for the ride. Today, spinoffs often look more like wasteful financial engineering than resourceful unleashed innovation coupled with ambition.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Jonathan L Steinberg
Position: Chief Executive Officer
Transaction Date: 2024-02-13 Shares Bought: 303,781 Average Price Paid: $7.20 Cost: $2,186,768
Company: WisdomTree Inc. (WT)

WisdomTree Inc. is a worldwide financial innovation that provides a well-diversified range of world-class exchange-traded products, models, and solutions. The company uses cutting-edge financial infrastructure to create products that offer greater access, transparency, and user experience. They are building next-generation digital products and structures, such as blockchain-enabled mutual funds and tokenized assets, as well as WisdomTree Prime™, the blockchain-native digital wallet. The company has developed numerous first-to-market products and pioneered an alternative weighting strategy known as “Modern Alpha,” which blends the outperformance potential of active management with the benefits of passive management to provide clients with cost-effective, performance-driven funds. On September 19, 1985, they were formed under the rules of the state of Delaware as Financial Data Systems, Inc., which was later renamed WisdomTree Investments, Inc. on September 6, 2005, and finally WisdomTree, Inc. on November 7, 2022.

Jonathan Steinberg founded WisdomTree and has served as Chief Executive Officer since October 1988 and as President from August 2012 to September 2019. Mr. Steinberg formerly worked as an analyst in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., an investment banking business, from 1986 to 1988. In 1996, Times Books, a part of Random House, Inc., published his book Midas Investing. Mr. Steinberg has been a member of the Board of Directors of Fnality International Limited, a financial technology company headquartered in the United Kingdom, since May 2022. Mr. Steinberg frequently speaks at conferences about digital assets and blockchain-enabled finance, and he has been on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business. He received his education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Opinion: I’m not sure what Steinberg sees here with his $2.1 million purchase of Wisdom Tree stock. He’s been at it a long time at the ETF company, but Wisdom Tree has shown little benefit to shareholders. Is this time different is the question.  Gemini, CoPilot, or GhatGPT don’t have any idea either.

Finviz Chart

Name: James M Collingsworth
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2024-02-13 Shares Bought: 100,000 Average Price Paid: $5.82 Cost: $581,566
Company: NGL Energy Partners LP (NGL)

NGL Energy Partners LP is a diversified midstream energy partnership that transports, processes, recycles, and disposes of produced water generated during the energy production process, transports, stores, markets, and other logistics services for crude oil and liquid hydrocarbons. They are a Delaware master limited partnership that was established in September 2010. The company business is currently divided into three segments: The Water Solutions business transports, processes, recycles, and disposes of produced and flowback water from crude oil and natural gas production. The Crude Oil Logistics segment purchases crude oil from producers and marketers, transports it to refineries or for resale at pipeline injection stations, storage terminals, barge loading facilities, rail facilities, refineries, and transportation services through its own assets. The Liquids Logistics sector supplies natural gas liquids, refined petroleum products, and biodiesel to a wide range of commercial, retail, and industrial customers in the US and Canada.

Mr. James Collingsworth is a board member at NGL Energy Partners. Mr. Collingsworth offers extensive experience in the Partnership. Mr. Collingsworth spent 41 years in various aspects of the midstream and petrochemical industries. Mr. Collingsworth, Senior Vice President of Regulated NGL Pipelines and Natural Gas Storage at Enterprise Products Company, retired in 2013. Mr. Collingsworth has served on the boards of Texaco Canada, Dixie Pipeline Company, Seminole Pipeline Company, White River Natural Gas Hub, and the Petrochemical Feedstock Association of America.

Opinion: There are better places to park money in this business, like ET EDP.  Perhaps 


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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.

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. Microsoft’s Open AI’s power Bing and Google’s Bard are now essential tools.

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