By Matt Doiron
We track insider purchases because, in theory, insiders should tend to avoid buying the stock unless they are somewhat confident in the company's prospects - otherwise it is rational for them to diversify. In practice, studies do show a small outperformance effect for stocks bought by insiders (read our analysis of studies on insider trading). We can also look at which stocks have been seeing insider buying recently and then screen those names for a number of criteria, including moderate to high dividend yields; income investors can then do further research on any interesting companies in this category. Here are five stocks which pay dividend yields of 3% or higher going by current prices and recent dividend payments which have had at least one insider or insider related purchase since the middle of March:
The spouse of a Board member at JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and some investing companies which manage wealth for that Board member's family added considerably to their holdings of the large bank. JPMorgan Chase currently pays a dividend yield of 3.2%, and looks like a potential value stock as well judging by the fact that it trades at only 9 times trailing earnings. Net income increased by over 30% in the first quarter of 2013 versus a year earlier, and while revenue growth was much lower the bank really only needs to sustain its current business. JPMorgan Chase was one of the most popular financial stocks among hedge funds in the fourth quarter of 2012 (find more financial stocks hedge funds loved).
A member of the Board of Directors at Kohl's (KSS) directly purchased 2,500 shares on April 2nd at an average price of $45.38 per share. The dividend yield here is 3%, and Kohl's is also somewhat noteworthy for carrying a beta of only 0.6. At a market capitalization of $11 billion, the department store is valued at 12 times its earnings for the last fiscal year although financial performance has not been particularly strong. In the last year, sales edged up slightly compared to the previous fiscal year but costs were up to the point where Kohl's actually reported a 16% decline in net income.
Multiple insiders were buying shares of Windstream (WIN), a $5.2 billion market cap telecom and data center services company. Consensus insider purchases are particularly bullish signals according to our understanding of the research (learn more about consensus insider purchases). The stock pays a very high dividend yield, at over 11%, though many long-term investors are underwater given the 23% fall in price in the last year. So while the yield is certainly high, and with the insider buying might be worth investigating, we'd advise income investors to be cautious here.
Macquarie Infrastructure (MIC), a diversified company providing aircraft services, liquid storage, and natural gas distribution among other businesses, is another high yield stock that at least one insider has bought recently. The valuation is high in terms of Macquarie Infrastructure's earnings, in part because the stock is up 59% in the last year. The company dramatically increased its quarterly dividend payment in the middle of 2012, bumping the yield up above 5%, though we do think that income investors should be a bit concerned about the valuation.
An Agree Realty (ADC) Board member purchased about 11,000 shares of the stock at around $28 per share. Agree is a retail-focused real estate investment trust; REITs are required to distribute a large share of their taxable income to shareholders in order to preserve their favorable tax treatment, which often results in high yields. Agree's yield is 5.6%, considerably higher than that of other retail REITs, though the company's market capitalization is only about $340 million (on average over 75,000 shares are traded per day and the current stock price is about $30, so there is over $2 million in daily dollar volume) and so its business might be more fragile.