Each week I highlight stocks where the CFO has made a purchase on the open market. This week the list contains five stocks where the CFO bought at least $25,000 worth of shares. Both this list, and the list of CEO buys I released recently, which can be found here, offer some interesting companies in which to do more research. I believe that insider purchases from management, as opposed to directors, are a better clue on the direction of the company. Management is closer to the day-to-day operations and should understand the immediate catalysts and risks. It’s also important to keep in mind that for a CFO in many companies, an investment of the size listed below counts as substantial.
Below are five stocks where the CFO has purchased at least $25,000 of company stock in the past week:
Stanley Furniture (STLY): Stanley Furniture is a $78 million market cap company that manufactures wood furniture in the U.S. Jeffrey Saut from Raymond James highlighted the case for Stanley Furniture a few weeks ago: More than $25 million on the balance sheet, no debt, and the possibility of a $40 million payout from an anti-dumping judgment. That may be why CFO Micah Goldstein picked up $53,700 worth of stock on March 3. Value investors also should appreciate that Marty Whitman’s Third Avenue Management owns more than 35% of the company.
Amtech Systems (ASYS): CFO Bradley Anderson bought $47,000 of company stock on February 28. He was joined by CEO Jong Whang’s $96,000 purchase on the same date. They had good timing as shares jumped nearly 7% on Thursday. Amtech Systems produces solar and semiconductor equipment in one segment and polishing supplies, which supplies wafer carriers to the manufacturers of silicon wafers, in its other segment. The company’s guidance for 2011 is tremendous, and they recently acquired a 55% ownership stake in a Hong Kong ion implant tech firm.
Six Flags Entertainment (SIX): Six Flags shares started trading again in May after emerging from bankruptcy and are now at new highs. CFO John Duffey made an incredible $1.68 million share purchase on February 25. The company recently announced a $60 million share repurchase plan and also announced its first full year profit last year since 1998.
IEC Electronics (IEC): IEC is a New York based company that provides electronic manufacturing services to technology companies. Like Six Flags, IEC shares also recently hit new 51 week highs after reporting impressive earnings in early February. CFO Susan Topel-Samek bought $86,500 worth of shares on February 25, her first purchase on the open market. IEC’s market cap is $86 million.
Black Hills Corp. (BKH): This utility and oil and natural gas explorer pays a nice 4.8% dividend and operates in the Western United States. CFO Anthony Cleberg has been making multiple share purchases, most recently on February 24 for $29,900. He now owns about $968,000 shares of the company. Making this more impressive, his annual salary is listed at $394,000. Noted value investor Mario Gabelli owns nearly 5% of the company as well.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.