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The following is a list of stocks that have recently hit new 52-week highs. Additionally, these companies have, on average, seen more insider buying than insider selling over the last two years (excluding exercised options). For each company we'll list the average number of shares purchased by insiders on the open market over the last two years.

The markets are driving these stocks to new highs and insiders seem to be enthusiastic about the prospects of their employers. How much longer is this going to last? Full details below.

Insider data sourced from Fidelity. Short float and performance data sourced from Finviz.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research. Note: The numbers on top of items represent the forward P/E ratio, if available.


1. ComScore, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR): Business Services Industry. Market cap of $832.32M.

Insiders purchased an average of 13,700 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 3.89%, which implies a short ratio of 6.68 days. The stock has gained 78.5% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- The company's capital spending accelerated by 43.3% over the last five years, much faster than the industry average of 26.82%. At least theoretically, this makes them more competitive over the coming years, since their operational assets are more up-to-date.

Institutional and mutual fund investors have been net purchasers of the company's shares over the last two quarters, suggesting that the smart money thinks there's more upside to the stock. Institutional investors have been net buyers of 3.0M shares during the most recent quarter, vs. 1.4M net shares purchased in the previous quarter. Mutual fund investors have also been optimistic on the stock. They were net buyers of 203.8K shares during the most recent quarter, vs. 231.2K net shares purchased in the previous quarter.

2. Photronics Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB): Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $449.03M.

Insiders purchased an average of 190,458 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 8.05%, which implies a short ratio of 6.76 days. The stock has gained 108.02% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- Judging by the company's cash holdings, shares look to offer good value at current levels. Price / Cashflow per Share, based on the most recent quarter's cash flow numbers, came in at 5.13, lower than the industry average of 11.37. It's also worth pointing out that the company's trailing twelve month Price / Cashflow per Share came in at 4.22, lower than the industry average of 12.6.

- The company also appears to be undervalued relative to book value. Price/Book ratio at 1.05, much lower than the industry average of 4.84.

3. Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc. (NYSE:SKH):
Long-Term Care Facilities Industry. Market cap of $479.93M.

Insiders purchased an average of 199,512 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 10.38%, which implies a short ratio of 5.72 days. The stock has gained 114.89% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- The company has demonstrated rapid cash flow growth over the last five years, which may lower their risk going forward. Five year average cash flow growth at 28.86%, much higher than the industry average at 18.52%.

4. Rockwood Holdings Inc. (NYSE:ROC): Specialty Chemicals Industry. Market cap of $3.27B.

Insiders purchased an average of 33,905 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 3.4%, which implies a short ratio of 3.63 days. The stock has gained 101.68% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- Judging by the company's cash holdings, shares look to offer good value at current levels. Price / Cashflow per Share, based on the most recent quarter's cash flow numbers, came in at 7.85, lower than the industry average of 16.35. It's also worth pointing out that the company's trailing twelve month Price / Cashflow per Share came in at 7.9, lower than the industry average of 14.00.

5. Kronos Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:KRO): Specialty Chemicals Industry. Market cap of $2.43B.

Insiders purchased an average of 34,182 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 12.49%, which implies a short ratio of 1.79 days. The stock has gained 237.33% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- Institutional and mutual fund investors have been net purchasers of the company's shares over the last two quarters, suggesting that the smart money thinks there's more upside to the stock. Institutional investors have been net buyers of 1.7M shares during the most recent quarter, vs. 49.3K net shares purchased in the previous quarter. Mutual fund investors have also been optimistic on the stock. They were net buyers of 406.1K shares during the most recent quarter, vs. 102.7K net shares purchased in the previous quarter.

6. Western Gas Partners Lp (NYSE:WES):
Oil & Gas Pipelines Industry. Market cap of $2.6B.

Insiders purchased an average of 59,289 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 0.9%, which implies a short ratio of 1.31 days. The stock has gained 73.78% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- It's worth pointing out that the company has a track record of outperforming its competitors. Over the last five years, EPS grew by 47.11%, higher than the industry average at 1.62%, while revenues grew by 24.74%, outperforming the industry average at 10.67%.

- The company has demonstrated rapid cash flow growth over the last five years, which may lower their risk going forward. Five year average cash flow growth at 33.47%, much higher than the industry average at 8.59%.

7. Crosstex Energy LP (XTEX): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $775.24M.

Insiders purchased an average of 622,553 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 0.85%, which implies a short ratio of 1.88 days. The stock has gained 74.46% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- The company appears to be undervalued relative to book value. Price/Book ratio at 0.89, much lower than the industry average of 3.47.

8. Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC): Paper & Paper Products Industry. Market cap of $464.83M.

Insiders purchased an average of 703,179 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 5.91%, which implies a short ratio of 5.16 days. The stock has gained 190.59% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- Judging by trailing twelve month (NYSE:TTM) ratios like Return on Equity (ROE), Return on Assets (ROA) and Return on Invested Capital (NYSE:ROI), it's clear that the company's management is doing an excellent job. TTM ROE at 39.29%, higher than the industry average at 11.74%, TTM ROA at 4.92% vs. the industry average at 2.77%, and TTM ROI at 5.65%, lower than the industry average at 10.77%. The company also outperformed its industry competitors in terms of the TTM Return on Sales ratio (6.75% vs. the industry average at 3.43%).

- The company appears to have a very efficient workforce, which should help manage cost pressures going forward. Trailing twelve month Income/Employee stands at $51,702, higher than the industry average at $17,048. The company also outperformed on the Revenue/Employee metric ($765,510 vs. the industry average at $467,040).

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: Eight Stocks Reaching New Highs on Insider Buying