In addition to the lack of insider buying, there was a Presidential debate last week between a sitting President with a blank stare and an ex-President who has shown us he will stop at nothing to stay President. Somehow, the stock market doesn’t care.

Finviz Chart

Name: Oscar Munoz
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-06-21 Shares Bought: 2,051 Average Price Paid: $243.69 Cost: $499,806
Company: Salesforce Inc. (CRM)

Salesforce, Inc. was established in 1999 and is based in San Francisco, California. Salesforce, Inc. develops Customer Relationship Management technology that connects businesses and customers globally. The company’s services include sales, which stores data; monitors leads and progress; forecasts opportunities; gains insights through analytics and artificial intelligence; and delivers quotes, contracts, and invoices; and service, which allows businesses to provide trusted and highly personalized customer support at scale. Furthermore, its platform offering includes a versatile platform that enables businesses of all sizes, locations, and industries to create business workflows and apps with customers; an online learning platform that allows anyone to learn in-demand Salesforce skills; and Slack, an intelligent productivity platform. The company’s marketing services enable businesses to plan, personalize, automate, and optimize the customer marketing journey, connecting interaction and connected products and commerce services.

Oscar Munoz has been a Director since January 2022 and was a member of the worldwide advisory board from December 2020 to December 2021. From September 2015 to May 2020, Mr. Munoz served as CEO of United Airlines Holdings, Inc., an aviation corporation. Before that, Mr. Munoz was President and COO of CSX Corporation, a railroad and intermodal transportation services corporation, from February 2015 to September 2015; EVP and COO of CSX from 2012 to 2015; and EVP and CFO of CSX from 2003 to 2012. Mr. Munoz now serves on the boards of directors for CBRE Group, Inc., Univision Holdings, Inc., and Archer Aviation, Inc., and was Executive Chairman of the Board of United Airlines Holdings, Inc. for the previous five years. He also serves as a trustee for Fidelity’s Equity & High Income Fund. Mr. Munoz got a B.A. from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Opinion: Salesforce is making a bit of a comeback from the last marked-down quarter, but I’m not buying. The CRM software is overpriced and bloated. Customers may be locked in, but investors are not.

Finviz Chart

Name: Berkshire Hathaway Inc / Warren E Buffett
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2023-06-13 Shares Bought: 2,947,611 Average Price Paid: $59.70 Cost: $175,976,799
Company: Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY)

Occidental Petroleum Corporation was founded in 1920 and is based in Houston, Texas. Occidental Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries acquire, explore, and develop oil and gas properties throughout the United States, the Middle East, and North Africa. The corporation operates in three business segments: oil and gas, chemical, midstream, and marketing. The company’s Oil and Gas division discovers, develops, and produces oil and condensate, natural gas liquids, and natural gas. The Chemical segment produces and sells basic chemicals such as chlorine, caustic soda, chlorinated organics, potassium chemicals, ethylene dichloride, chlorinated isocyanurates, sodium silicates, and calcium chloride, as well as vinyls such as vinyl chloride monomer, polyvinyl chloride, and polyethylene. The Midstream and Marketing segment gathers, processes, transports, stores, buys, and sells crude oil, condensate, NGLs, natural gas, CO2, and electricity.

Warren Edward Buffett, an American businessman and philanthropist, was born on August 30, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska. He is regarded as the most successful investor of the twentieth and early twenty-first century. 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 attended Columbia University’s School of Management and studied under Benjamin Graham. Buffett moved to Omaha in 1956 and bought a controlling stake in textile maker Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in 1965, using it as his primary investment vehicle.

Opinion: Buffett continues to buy and deny that he won’t swallow  the whole company.

Finviz Chart

Name: Mahbod Nia
Position: Chief Executive Officer
Transaction Date: 2023-06-20 Shares Bought: 35,000 Average Price Paid: $14.32 Cost: $501,347
Company: Veris Residential Inc. (VRE)

Veris Residential, Inc. is a forward-thinking, environmentally and socially conscious real estate investment trust (REIT) that primarily owns, operates, acquires, and develops holistically inspired, Class A multifamily properties that meet today’s residents’ sustainability-conscious lifestyle needs while attempting to positively impact the communities it serves and the planet as a whole. The company is overseen by an experienced management team and a Board of Directors, and it is built on leading corporate governance principles, a best-in-class and sustainable operational approach, and an inclusive culture that values equality and meritocracy.

Mahbod Nia has been CEO of Veris Residential and a member of the Board of Directors since June 2020. Mr. Nia has led Veris Residential through its strategic transformation to a pure-play multifamily REIT by simplifying and focusing its business, strengthening its balance sheet, and upgrading its operating platform to achieve the company’s new strategic direction. Mr. Nia has over 20 years of real estate experience, encompassing multifamily and office investments, management, finance, and advisory roles. Before joining Veris Residential, Mr. Nia was CEO of NorthStar Realty Europe Corp., a NYSE-listed REIT focused on European properties, where he also served on the investment committee and board. Mr. Nia has worked in real estate departments at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup Inc., where he started his career. Mr. Nia holds a degree in Economics for Business from the University of Westminster and a master’s degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Warwick (UK).

Insiders buying a  REIT yielding 1.5% must know something that’s not obvious.

Finviz Chart

Name: James B Jr Miller
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-06-27 Shares Bought: 271,518 Average Price Paid: $9.00 Cost: $2,443,499
Transaction Date: 2023-06-27 Shares Bought: 20,784 Average Price Paid: $8.76 Cost: $182,122
Company: American Software Inc (AMSWA)

American Software, Inc. was established in 1970 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The company creates, promotes, and supports a variety of computer business application software solutions in the United States and worldwide. They operate in three segments: supply chain management, information technology consulting, and others. The SCM segment uses a single platform to manage eight supply chain process areas: product, demand, inventory, network optimization, supply, and deployment, all matched with integrated business planning and supply chain data management. The IT Consulting segment provides IT staffing and consulting services. Other segments offer purchasing and materials management, customer order processing, financial, e-commerce, and traditional manufacturing software and services. The company sells its products directly and indirectly to garment and other soft goods, food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, consumer durable goods, wholesale distribution, specialty chemicals, and other process manufacturing industries. 

James B. Miller, Jr., Chairman. Mr. Miller has been the Chairman of Ameris Bank since July 2019. Before joining Ameris Bank, Mr. Miller was the Chairman and CEO of Fidelity Southern Corporation since 1979. He was chosen Chairman of Fidelity Bank in 1998. He is a director at Interface, Inc., a publicly traded textile manufacturing company. Mr. Miller is the chairman of two privately held family real estate firms. Mr. Miller earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida State University and an L.L.B. from Vanderbilt University Law School. Mr. Miller’s extensive leadership expertise, as well as his board experience with other firms in a range of industries, lends the Board the commercial and financial insight of an experienced senior executive.


Finviz Chart

Name: Alex P Schultz
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-06-20 Shares Bought: 34,470 Average Price Paid: $7.59 Cost: $261,724
Company: Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. (LIND)

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. was created in 1979 and is based in New York, NY. Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. offers marine expedition adventures and tourism experiences globally. It works through the Lindblad and Land Experiences segments. Lindblad segment provides ship-based expeditions aboard customized, nimble, and intimately-scaled vessels, which offer up-close experiences in the planet’s wild and remote places, and capitals of culture; and offers expedition ships, which are equipped with state-of-the-art tools for in-depth exploration with infrastructure and ports, such as Antarctica and the Arctic, and places that are accessed by a ship comprising Galápagos Islands, Alaska, Baja California’s Sea of Cortez. The Land Experiences segment includes natural habitats, which offers over 100 different expedition itineraries in more than 45 countries across seven continents, with eco-conscious and nature-focused expeditions, as well as small-group tours such as polar bear tours and bear adventure; and DuVine, which provides intimate group cycling and adventure tours around the world with local cycling experts as guides in local culture, cuisine, and accommodations.

Alexander P. Schultz has been a Director since February 2022. Mr. Schultz is currently the Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Analytics at Meta, formerly Facebook, responsible for global consumer marketing and product analytics. Throughout his time at Meta, he has pioneered the convergence of product and direct response marketing and has overseen some of the largest and most effective online direct response campaigns, resulting in massive application user growth. Mr. Schultz has been with Meta since 2007, and he has overseen the internationalization and analytics teams since 2011 and 2015. Before joining Meta, Mr. Schultz was a Marketing Manager at eBay, where he oversaw global targeting for eBay’s onsite merchandising, among other tasks. Mr. Schultz earned an M.S. in Natural Sciences from Magdalene College in Cambridge, where he concentrated on experimental and theoretical physics.

Opinion: Mr. Schultz has earned enough money from working at Meta, aka Facebook, to buy Lindbladt Explorations if he wanted to, so I would not normally put much credence into this relatively small purchase of stock except for the fact that Schulze has doubled his ownership stake in the last year as the price of Lindblad. 


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 You can be an insider, too– by clicking here

Insiders sell the stock for many reasons, but they generally buy for just one – to make money. You’ve always heard the best information is inside information.  Everyone with any stock market experience pays close attention to what insiders are doing.  After all, who knows a business better than the people running it?  Officers, directors, and 10% owners are required to inform the public through a Form 4 Filing of any transaction, buy, sell, exercise, or any other within 48 hours of doing so. This info is available for free from the SEC’s Web site, Edgar, although we subscribe to SECForm4  as they provide a way to manage and make sense of the vast realms of data. I’ve tried a lot of vendors. SECForm4 is one of the smaller ones, but I like supporting Frank. He is not arrogant. He’s helpful and has great prices. He also trades on his own data, so I like people that eat what they kill.

The bar is different from selling because the natural state of management is to be a seller. This is because most companies provide significant amounts of management compensation packages as stock and options. Therefore, we analyze unusual patterns with selling, such as insiders selling 25 percent or more of their holdings or multiple insiders selling near 52-week lows. Another red flag is large planned sale programs that start without warning. Unfortunately, the public information disclosure requirements about these programs, referred to as Rule 10b5-1, are horrendously poor. Also, planned sales that pop up out of nowhere are basically sales and are seeking cover under this corporate welfare loophole. I also generally ignore 10 percent shareholders as they tend to be OPM (other people’s money) and perhaps not the smart money on which we are trying to read the tea leaves. I say generally because some 10% shareholders are great investors. Think Warren  Buffett and others

Of course, insiders can also be wrong about their Company’s prospects. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing they never make mistakes.  Do your own analysis. They can easily be wrong, and in many cases, maybe most cases, have no more idea what the future may hold than you or me. In short, you can lose money following them.  We have, and we curse aloud; what were they thinking!

We like Fly on the Wall for keeping up with what events might be happening, analysts’ comments, and whatever else could be moving the stock.  Dow Jones news service is an essential tool, but many services pick up their feed like they do Bloomberg. For quick financial analysis, it’s hard to beat Old School Value.

A big callout to my assistant Ambreen who sets up this conversation by listing the notable buys that I’ve identified.  She probes the 10k for a reasonable description of the business. I’ve found that to be the most accurate and succinct place to find out what a business actually does.

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

The Insiders Fund is for qualified investors and by Prospectus only. Nothing herein should be construed otherwise.  THE INSIDERS FUND prefers to invest in companies at or near prices that management has been willing to invest significant amounts of their own money in, but we have no requirement to do so. We also invest in many companies in anticipation of future insider buying or with the expectation that there is none at all.

You can be an insider, too– by clicking here

Prosperous Trading,

Harvey Sax
Insomniac Hedge Fund Guy