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Welcome to edition forty four of Insider Weekends. Insider buying rebounded with insiders purchasing $84.92 million of their stock last week when compared to $21.65 million in the week prior. Selling also picked up with insiders selling $817.87 million worth of stock when compared to $742.56 million in the week prior.

While not reflected in the headline numbers, insider buying dwindled considerably in the last couple of weeks. The increase in insider buying this week is primarily on account of 10% owner, Kevin Douglas, purchasing a large amount of American Superconductor (NASDAQ:AMSC) stock following a precipitous plunge in the stock last week.

Sell/Buy Ratio:

The insider Sell/Buy ratio is calculated by dividing the total insider sales in a given week by total insider purchases that week. The adjusted ratio for last week dropped to 9.63. In other words, insiders sold almost 10 times as much stock as they purchased. The Sell/Buy ratio this week compares favorably with the week prior when the ratio stood at 34.3. We are calculating an adjusted ratio by removing transactions by funds and companies and trying as best as possible only to retain information about insiders and 10% owners who are not funds or companies.

Insider Sell Buy Ratio April 8, 2011:

Insider Sell Buy Ratio April 8, 2011

Note: As mentioned in the first post in this series Introduction to Insider Weekends, certain industries have their preferred metrics such as same store sales for retailers, funds from operations (FFO) for REITs and revenue per available room (RevPAR) for hotels that provide a better basis for comparison than simple valuation metrics. However metrics like Price/Earnings, Price/Sales and Enterprise Value/EBITDA included below should provide a good starting point for analyzing the majority of stocks.

Notable Insider Buys:

1. Excel Trust, Inc. (NYSE:EXL): $11.63

Chairman of the Board / CEO Gary B. Sabin acquired 53,983 shares of this commercial and retail REIT, paying $12.10 per share for a total amount of $653,194. These shares were acquired indirectly through Excel Realty Fund, which is 100% owned by Mr. Sabin.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Excel Trust, Inc. here.

P/E: N/A Forward P/E: 10.67 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 10.55 Price/Book: 0.98 EV/EBITDA: 61.72
Market Cap: $182.16M Avg. Daily Volume: 62,875 52 Week Range: $10.77 – $13.72

2. Preferred Apartment Communities (NYSEMKT:APTS): $9.9101

Shares of this apartment REIT that went public last week were acquired by 4 insiders:

  • President and CEO John A. Williams acquired 29,595 shares, paying $9.99 per share for a total amount of $295,628. These shares were acquired indirectly by Mr. Williams’ spouse.
  • Director Steve Bartkowski acquired 2,500 shares, paying $9.97 per share for a total amount of $24,935.
  • Director Timothy Alan Peterson acquired 2,500 shares, paying $10.00 per share for a total amount of $25,000.
  • Executive Vice President – Property Management William F. Leseman acquired 1,000 shares, paying $10.00 per share for a total amount of $10,000.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Preferred Apartment Communities here.

P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: N/A Price/Book: N/A EV/EBITDA: N/A
Market Cap: $356.76K Avg. Daily Volume: 76,417 52 Week Range: $9.19 – $10.05

3. MDC Partners Inc. (NASDAQ:MDCA): $17.12

Shares of this advertising and marketing company were acquired by 3 insiders:

  • Chairman, CEO and President Miles Nadal acquired 10,000 shares, paying $16.44 per share for a total amount of $164,400. Mr. Nadal increased his stake by 0.23% to 4,358,468 shares with this purchase.
  • Vice Chairman Stephen Pustil acquired 5,000 shares, paying $16.94 per share for a total amount of $84,700. Mr. Pustil increased his stake by 2.69% to 190,622 shares with this purchase.
  • Director Robert Kamerschen acquired 1,500 shares, paying $16.65 per share for a total amount of $24,975. Mr. Kamerschen increased his stake by 0.58% to 258,459 shares with this purchase.

Mr. Nadal purchased shares several times over a nine month period last year. When I wrote about the company last September, I mentioned,

“The CEO of this Canadian company has been buying stock on and off since March and we have mentioned the company in the past. The pace of his purchases has crept up recently even as the stock price has gone up from $9.50 when Mr. Nadal first started buying, to its current $13.03. The BusinessWeek article Mad Man about a MDC Partners subsidiary called Crispin Porter + Bogusky is definitely worth reading.”

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for MDC Partners Inc. here.

P/E: N/A Forward P/E: 45.05 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 0.71 Price/Book: 8.12 EV/EBITDA: 12.32
Market Cap: $505.69M Avg. Daily Volume: 86,489 52 Week Range: $10.07 – $19.08

4. AnnTaylor Stores Corp. (NYSE:ANN): $30.67

Director Daniel W. Yih acquired 9,000 shares of this retail apparel company, paying $29.71 per share for a total amount of $267,349. Mr. Yih increased his stake by 61.15% to 23,717 shares with this purchase.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for AnnTaylor Stores Corp. here.

P/E: 24.71 Forward P/E: 14.54 Industry P/E: 17.41
P/S: 0.82 Price/Book: 3.91 EV/EBITDA: 6.55
Market Cap: $1.67B Avg. Daily Volume: 2,501,430 52 Week Range: $14.59 – $30.95

5. Conns Inc. (NASDAQ:CONN): $5.98

Shares of this specialty retailer of home appliances were acquired by 2 insiders:

  • Interim CEO/President Theodore M. Wright acquired 20,000 shares, paying $4.84 per share for a total amount of $96,794. Mr. Wright increased his stake by 100% to 40,000 shares with this purchase.
  • Executive Vice President/CFO Michael J. Poppe acquired 10,466 shares, paying $4.79 per share for a total amount of $50,114. Mr. Poppe increased his stake by 204.89% to 15,574 shares with this purchase.

You can view the list of recent transactions for Conns Inc. here.

P/E: N/A Forward P/E: 11.73 Industry P/E: 9.64
P/S: 0.22 Price/Book: 0.49 EV/EBITDA: 9.33
Market Cap: $189.95M Avg. Daily Volume: 167,762 52 Week Range: $3.12 – $10.33

You can view the full list of purchases from this Insider Buying page.

Notable Insider Sales:

1. Apollo Group Inc. (NASDAQ:APOL): $42.11

Shares of this for-profit education company were sold by 3 insiders:

  • Executive Chairman of the Board John G. Sperling sold 795,000 shares for $41.09, generating $32.67 million from the sale.
  • Vice Chairman of the Board Peter V. Sperling sold 220,000 shares for $40.82, generating $8.98 million from the sale.
  • VP, CAO & Controller Gregory James Iverson sold 466 shares for $41.90, generating $19,525 from the sale.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Apollo Group Inc. here.

P/E: 15.85 Forward P/E: 13.12 Industry P/E: 17.72
P/S: 1.21 Price/Book: 4.57 EV/EBITDA: 3.4
Market Cap: $5.96B Avg. Daily Volume: 2,462,180 52 Week Range: $33.75 – $66.69

2. Tempur Pedic International Inc. (NYSE:TPX): $57.17

Shares of this mattress and bedding products company were sold by 5 insiders:

  • Executive VP, President International Operations David Montgomery sold 100,000 shares for $57.53, generating $5.75 million from the sale.
  • Executive VP & CFO Dale E. Williams sold 70,000 shares for $57.73, generating $4.04 million from the sale.
  • EVP, Global Operations Matthew Clift sold 52,500 shares for $57.40, generating $3.01 million from the sale.
  • EVP & Pres, North America Richard W. Anderson sold 37,500 shares for $55.75, generating $2.09 million from the sale.
  • SVP Strat Plng, Corp Dev & CAO Bhaskar Rao sold 17,148 shares for $59.90, generating $1.03 million from the sale.

All these sales were as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale. Mr. Montgomery exercised options to purchase 60,000 shares and sold 100,000 shares.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Tempur Pedic International Inc. here.

P/E: 26.47 Forward P/E: 18.03 Industry P/E: 11.89
P/S: 3.17 Price/Book: 27.71 EV/EBITDA: 15.41
Market Cap: $3.93B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,161,620 52 Week Range: $25.56 – $59.98

3. VeriFone Systems, Inc (NYSE:PAY): $52.16

Shares of this electronic payment solutions provider were sold by 5 insiders:

  • EVP, Integrated Solutions Elmore Waller sold 135,311 shares for $54.53, generating $7.38 million from the sale. These shares were sold a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
  • Chief Financial Officer Robert R. Dykes sold 129,082 shares for $54.08, generating $6.98 million from the sale.
  • Executive Vice President Jeffrey C. Dumbrell sold 4,148 shares for $54.56, generating $226,312 from the sale. 3,125 of these shares were sold a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
  • President, VeriFone Israel Eliezer Yanay sold 3,303 shares for $55.50, generating $183,325 from the sale.
  • SVP, Gen. Counsel & Corp Secre Albert Liu sold 1,562 shares for $54.46, generating $85,070 from the sale. These shares were sold a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for VeriFone Systems, Inc here.

P/E: 38.44 Forward P/E: 24.04 Industry P/E: 31.3
P/S: 4.44 Price/Book: 17.89 EV/EBITDA: 29.22
Market Cap: $4.61B Avg. Daily Volume: 2,087,820 52 Week Range: $15.62 – $58.88

4. Guess? Inc. (NYSE:GES): $39.46

Shares of this apparel and fashion accessories retailer were sold by 2 insiders:

  • Chairman of the Board Maurice Marciano sold 200,000 shares for $40.50, generating $8.1 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly by MNM LLC.
  • Director Anthony Chidoni sold 6,000 shares for $38.99, generating $233,940 from the sale. These shares were sold a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Guess? Inc. here.

P/E: 12.69 Forward P/E: 10.17 Industry P/E: 17.41
P/S: 1.48 Price/Book: 3.49 EV/EBITDA: 6.66
Market Cap: $3.64B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,423,890 52 Week Range: $30.54 – $51.53

5. Middleby Corp. (NASDAQ:MIDD): $91.87

Shares of this commercial food processing equipment company were sold by 2 insiders:

  • CEO, Chairman, President Selim A. Bassoul sold 54,386 shares for $94.38, generating $5.13 million from the sale.
  • Chief Financial Officer Timothy John Fitzgerald sold 11,428 shares for $94.63, generating $1.08 million from the sale.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Middleby Corp. here.

P/E: 23.14 Forward P/E: 16.83 Industry P/E: 13.65
P/S: 2.4 Price/Book: 4.05 EV/EBITDA: 13.46
Market Cap: $1.70B Avg. Daily Volume: 114,797 52 Week Range: $50.68 – $96.25

You can view the full list of sales from this Insider Sales page.

Source: Insider Buys and Sells: Excel Trust, Apollo Group