These seven stocks have positive catalysts for futures growth, heavy institutional ownership, strong insider ownership, and recent significant insider buys. Insider buys are a useful indicator. Insiders have exclusive information on the company performance; if they are risking their own money on the stock, usually they should have good reasons, especially when several insiders buy the stock at the same time. These are bullish indicators regarding a stock's possible future performance. Moreover, several have had recent upgrades and positive analyst comments.
Buying a basket of these stocks gives you significant opportunity to outperform the market by solid companies with outstanding past performance and even better futures from the hottest sectors.
Below is a detailed table with statistics regarding these stocks' institutional and insider buying statistics followed by a brief review of each company, a summary of current analysts' estimates and up/downgrade activity followed by a chart of the company's key statistics.
Insider & Institutional Statistics (Click to enlarge)
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), together with its subsidiaries, operates as a bookseller in the United States. The company provides access to books, magazines, newspapers, and other content across its multi-channel distribution platform. Barnes & Noble recently reported sales and earnings for its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter and full year ended April 30. For fiscal 2011, total sales increased 20% to a record $7 billion. Sales growth was fueled by inclusion of a full year of sales from Barnes & Noble College Booksellers (“College”) as well as a 50% sales increase at BN.com.
The company is trading below analysts' estimates. BKS has a median price target of $18.50 by four brokers and a high target of $24. The last up/downgrade activity was on Aug 14, 2009, when Credit Suisse downgraded the company from Neutral to Underperform.
The First Marblehead Corporation (NYSE:FMD), together with its subsidiaries, provides outsourcing services for designing and implementing private education loan programs to national and regional financial institutions, and educational institutions in the United States.
First Marblehead recently announced that its subsidiary, Union Federal Savings Bank, began accepting applications for its Union Federal Private Student Loan and prepGATE® Education Loan programs on July 1. These education loan programs, based on First Marblehead's Monogram® product platform, are intended to help finance the cost of higher education as well as primary and secondary education.
The company is trading significantly below analysts' estimates. FMD has a median price target of $2 by one broker and a high target of $2. The last up/downgrade activity was on May 22, 2008, when Friedman Billings upgraded the company from Underperform to Market Perform.
Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD), together with its subsidiaries, operates as a short-to-medium-haul truckload carrier of general commodities in the United States. The company's board of directors recently announced the declaration of a regular quarterly cash dividend. The $0.02 per share dividend was to be paid on July 6 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 24. A total of approximately $1.8 million will be paid on the company's 90.7 million outstanding shares of common stock.
The company is trading below analysts' estimates. HTLD has a median price target of $19 by 13 brokers and a high target of $22. The last up/downgrade activity was on May 16, when Robert W. Baird downgraded the company from Outperform to Neutral.
iGATE Corporation (NASDAQ:IGTE) provides outsourced information technology and IT-enabled operations, solutions, and services. The company offers various services that include software application, development, and maintenance; implementation and support of enterprise applications; package evaluation and implementation; re-engineering; data warehousing; business intelligence; analytics; data management and integration; software testing; and IT infrastructure management services.
iGATE recently announced completion of its Patni (NASDAQ:PTI) acquisition. Phaneesh Murthy was appointed CEO of Patni. Patni gets a new board and continues to be listed in India and on the NYSE. Further to the purchase agreements entered into on Jan. 10 to acquire a majority stake in Patni, iGATE and Patni recently announced the completion of the acquisition.
The company is trading significantly below analysts' estimates. IGTE has a median price target of $23.50 by six brokers and a high target of $26. The last up/downgrade activity was on Apr. 13, when Kaufman Bros initiated coverage on the company with a Buy rating.
Multiband Corporation (NASDAQ:MBND) and its subsidiaries engage in the provision of voice, data, and video services to multi-dwelling unit and single family home customers in the United States. Multiband Corporation, a leading home service provider for DirecTV (DTV) and the nation's largest DTV master system operator for multiple dwelling units, recently announced it has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire WPCS International Incorporated (NASDAQ:WPCS), a leader in design-build engineering services for communications infrastructure based in Exton, Penn.
The company is trading significantly below analysts' estimates. MBND has a median price target of $5.50 by two brokers and a high target of $6.00. The last up/downgrade activity was on June 9, when Northland Securities initiated coverage on the company with an Outperform rating.
PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE:PAR) provides professional services and enterprise business management technology to the hospitality industry worldwide. PAR Logistics Management Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PAR Technology Corporation, recently announced that Alliance Shippers Inc. will outfit its entire fleet of 1,700 refrigerated trailers with PAR’s two-way monitoring and control system. Alliance is one of North America’s largest independently-owned providers of global logistics and transportation services. Through more than 50 regional and international sales and operating facilities strategically located in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, Alliance offers shippers worldwide a full-service/single-source team approach to providing The Perfect Shipment® via state-of-the-art rail, highway, ocean and air transportation services.
The company is trading significantly below analysts' estimates. PAR has a median price target of $9 by 1 brokers and a high target of $9. The last up/downgrade activity was on June 4, 2010, when Wedbush downgraded the company from Outperform to Neutral.
Ultralife Corporation (NASDAQ:ULBI) offers products and services ranging from portable and standby power solutions to communications and electronics systems worldwide Ultralife Corporation recently reported an operating loss of $5.8 million on revenues of $30.7 million for the first quarter ended April 3. Revenue for the first quarter was $30.7 million compared to $38.5 million for the first quarter of 2010. 2011 revenue included a $2.7 million charge to reflect a proposed settlement with the U.S. government related to exigent contracts completed between 2003 and 2004, as disclosed on April 29.
Excluding the $2.7 million charge, battery and energy products revenue increased by 11.1% to $27.0 million reflecting increased demand for commercial products from the company's China operation and chargers. Communications systems revenue was $4.2 million, down from $12.2 million for the first quarter of 2010 reflecting delays in orders from the U.S. Department of Defense and the absence of orders for SATCOM systems for the first quarter of 2011. Energy services revenue was $2.3 million, compared to $2.0 million for the same period last year. As disclosed on March 10, the company is exiting the energy services business in 2011.
The company is trading on par with analysts' estimates. ULBI has a median price target of $4.50 by two brokers and a high target of $5.00. The last up/downgrade activity was on Jan. 8, 2010, when Merriman initiated coverage on the company with a Neutral rating.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.