A time-tested strategy that has shown to lead to market-beating returns is monitoring insider purchasing activity. Insiders are just like the rest of the public in that they desire to make more money, so when the people who arguably have the best view into a company's operations and future prospects purchase shares, we can join them on the way higher. The following are stocks that have recently had notable insider buying of at least $100,000. As always, only consider this to be a starting point in your investment research as these are only my opinions.
Mosaic (MOS) produces predominately phosphate and potash nutrients used in agricultural worldwide. The stock has been volatile, but currently sits near its $63.46 52-week high. Board Director Emery Koenig sees the stock moving higher, tripling her stake on April 3 by buying 2,000 shares equating to almost $120,000 worth of stock. The company still looks reasonably priced at just a 13x trailing P/E. Moreover, operating margins of 22% and returns on equity exceeding 15% are nice to see. Lastly, the company has a great balance sheet with minimal intangibles and net cash exceeding $2 billion. I think Mosaic is a great play in an improving economy.
One can look at Potash (POT) to diversify his or her position. Potash is a massive company as well with annual revenues over $7 billion and a market capitalization at approximately $35 billion. This Canadian-based company has fallen on hard times and currently sits not far from its $36.73 52-week low. It trades at a respectable 16.5x trailing and 11.5x forward P/E. The company has considerably superior operating margins and returns on equity compared to Mosaic of 40% and 23%, respectively. Lastly, and most importantly, the company pays a very nice and increasing 2.9% dividend yield.
If you are looking at one other high-quality company in this space, Monsanto (MON) certainly fits the bill. Monsanto is considerably larger than both of the two previously mentioned companies, with a market capitalization at $56 billion and annual revenues of $14 billion. Operationally, the company has performed better as well, beating consensus estimates in three of the last four quarters. The company does trade at a pricier 25x trailing and 20x forward P/E, which has me a little hesitant. However, with such well-known products such as Round-Up Ready and YieldGard, I think Monsanto is worth the premium. In addition, the company pays a consistently growing 1.4% dividend yield and with just a 30% payout ratio, and investors can reasonably expect that to continue.
Windstream (WIN) is a diversified telecommunications and technology solutions company. The stock has not done well the past year and currently sits close to its $7.86 52-week low. Nonetheless, board director Samuel Beall sees the stock moving higher, filing an SEC Form 4 on April 1 showing the purchase of 30,000 shares on the open market. This is encouraging, but the stock has been struggling operationally, missing consensus analysts' estimates the past four quarters. On the other hand, the company looks to have the negative news priced in as it trades now at a comparatively cheap .8x price to sales. Perhaps most importantly, the company has been paying a consistent dividend yield that now sits at approximately 12%. I think the stock is worth a look for income investors.
If you're looking to diversify your position, Frontier Communications (FTR) is worth a look. Frontier is much like Windstream in being a diversified telecommunications company experiencing declining sales as more people switch from landlines to mobile phones. Conversely, Frontier has met or exceeded analyst estimates in two of the last three quarters, showing better execution. Moreover, it too trades at just .8x price to sales and far cheaper 1x price to book against Windstream's 4.4x valuation. Lastly, it pays a nice double-digit dividend yield, which management has affirmed for the foreseeable future is safe.