2 More Energy Concerns With Recent Insider Buying

Includes: NSH, SFY
by: Bret Jensen

I published an article this morning about a couple of energy firms that showed up this weekend in Barron's top 20 list of companies with recent insider buying. The energy sector was well represented on this weekend's list with 25% of the firms listed coming from this industry. Here are two more energy concerns on this weekend's insider buying list that look interesting at these levels.

NuStar GP Holdings, LLC (NYSE:NSH) owns general partner and limited partner interests in NuStar Energy L.P. that engages in the terminaling and storage of petroleum products, transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia, and petroleum refining and marketing.

An insider bought over $1mm in new shares in two transactions in late September. Several insiders have been active in this stock since late April, purchasing approximately $2.5mm in shares in addition to these latest transactions.

The shares yield nearly ten percent (9.7%). The company has been a frequent and incremental raiser of distribution payouts over the years. Payouts have increased ~80% over the previous six years. The shares go for roughly 15 times forward earnings, a discount to its five year average (18.0).

NSH is offering yield investors an attractive entry point after selling off some 35% from recent highs. I believe a good portion of sell-off was due to a reaction to rising interest rates which impacted almost all high yield sectors. With the Federal Reserve backing off previous "taper" talk, a near/medium term ceiling for the ten year government yield appears to be around 3%. This seems to be a good buying opportunity in an environment of plateauing rates.

Swift Energy Company (NYSE:SFY) operates oil and natural gas properties. It focuses on oil and natural gas reserves in Texas, as well as onshore and in the inland waters of Louisiana. Two insiders bought just over $290K worth of shares in August and September. This follows over $300K in purchases by several different insiders at higher levels in late February.

In addition to insiders, analysts are generally positive on the prospects of this energy concern. The twelve analysts that cover the stock have a $19.50 a share median price target on Swift. This is more than 50% above the current price of ~$12 a share. Zack's also just upgraded the stock to a "Strong Buy", its highest rating.

The company has crush bottom line earnings estimates each of the last two quarters and the consensus EPS estimate for FY2014 has moved up better than ten percent in the last month. The shares sell for less than book value and just over 16x forward earnings, a discount to its five year average (21.7).

The company recently hired an advisor to sell over 80,000 acres of its holdings in Louisiana. Sale of these non-core assets should allow the company to pay down a significant portion of its debt load and also concentrate on growing production at more promising fields. A good sale price could be a substantial positive catalyst for the stock.

Disclosure: I am long SFY. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.