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Welcome to edition 58 of Insider Weekends. Insider buying dropped with insiders purchasing $28.71 million of their stock last week when compared to $47.55 million in the week prior. Selling also decreased with insiders selling $400.06 million worth of stock compared to $660.99 million in the week prior.

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 remained flat at 13.9. In other words, insiders sold nearly 14 times as much stock as they purchased. 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 July 15, 2011

Click to enlarge


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. Blyth, Inc. (BTH): $62

Chairman of the Board and CEO Robert B. Goergen acquired 400,000 shares of this home fragrance and home decor company, paying $52.29 per share for a total amount of $20.92 million. Mr. Goergen increased his stake by 19.51% to 2,450,475 shares with this purchase.

The filing came out just minutes after the market closed on Wednesday and there was nothing in the filing to indicate this was anything other than a direct purchase. Investors reacted enthusiastically, bidding the stock up 7.7% in a down market on Thursday and an additional 9.6% on Friday.

The stock has had quite the run over the last month, up nearly 40% even before this recent two-day rise and is trading at its 52-week high. What is astounding about this recent run is that the stock dropped nearly 20% over a four day trading period in early June sliding from $44.68 to $36.11 after reporting a first quarter loss and lowering its full year earnings expectation to a range of $2.10 to $2.30. Net income from continuing operations was actually positive to the tune of $2.1 million and the loss was mostly attributed to the sale and losses of two businesses it exited. Nearly half of the company’s sales are derived from international markets and the company owns several catalog/internet sales channels including Miles Kimball and Walter Drake.

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

P/E: 28.57 Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: 30.78
P/S: 0.52 Price/Book: 1.91 EV/EBITDA: 7.84
Market Cap: $511.25M Avg. Daily Volume: 31,127 52 Week Range: $30.28 – $62.45

2. Syntroleum Corp. (SYNM): $1.37

Shares of this synthetic fuel company were acquired by five insiders:

  • Director Robert B. Rosene acquired 50,000 shares, paying $1.39 per share for a total amount of $69,300. Mr. Rosene increased his stake by 9.33% to 585,699 shares with this purchase.
  • Director Frank Bumstead acquired 35,651 shares, paying $1.35 per share for a total amount of $48,108. Mr. Bumstead increased his stake by 11.60% to 342,868 shares with this purchase.
  • Director Alvin R. Albe acquired 30,000 shares, paying $1.40 per share for a total amount of $41,910. Mr. Albe increased his stake by 6.85% to 467,971 shares with this purchase.
  • Director Anthony Jacobs acquired 30,000 shares, paying $1.38 per share for a total amount of $41,385. These shares were purchased indirectly through a trust.
  • Director James R. Seward acquired 25,000 shares, paying $1.37 per share for a total amount of $34,300. Mr. Seward increased his stake by 4.78% to 548,329 shares with this purchase.

Syntroleum saw its stock price drop by more than 25% two weeks ago after announcing a secondary offering priced at $1.58 per share to generate $25.1 milion for the company. After earning $5 million in 2009 and generating free cash flow of almost $12 million, the company saw a very sharp drop in revenue in 2010 and ended up with negative earnings and FCF in 2010. Revenue continues to decline in 2011.

Its 50/50 joint venture with Tyson Foods (TSN) to supply renewable jet fuels through a company called Dynamic Fuels looks interesting but it is not clear how long it will take for that business to scale. Their first plant started producing 2,500 barrels per day and has the capacity to produce up to 75 million gallons per year.

Economic feasibility of the project partially depends on a $1 per gallon diesel tax credit that expired in December 2009 and was reinstated in December 2010. The expiration of this tax credit might explain the sharp drop in 2010 revenue.

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

P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: 10.56
P/S: 22.36 Price/Book: 3.83 EV/EBITDA: -19.74
Market Cap: $112.29M Avg. Daily Volume: 479,083 52 Week Range: $1.29 – $2.45

3. Nanosphere, Inc. (NSPH): $2

Director Mark Slezak acquired 115,000 shares of this medical testing and diagnostics company, paying $1.86 per share for a total amount of $213,993. Mr. Slezak increased his stake by 28.10% to 524,324 shares with this purchase.

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

P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: 20.3
P/S: 30.93 Price/Book: 1.55 EV/EBITDA: -0.72
Market Cap: $55.52M Avg. Daily Volume: 620,859 52 Week Range: $1.46 – $5.95

4. Methode Electronics Inc. (MEI): $10.58

Shares of this diversified electronics manufacturer were acquired by four insiders:

  • Director Stephen F. Gates acquired 4,500 shares, paying $10.80 per share for a total amount of $48,598. Mr. Gates increased his stake by 76.79% to 10,360 shares with this purchase.
  • Chief Executive Officer Donald W. Duda acquired 2,267 shares, paying $12.95 per share for a total amount of $29,358.
  • Controller and Treasurer Ronald Tsoumas acquired 1,599 shares, paying $12.10 per share for a total amount of $19,348.
  • Chief Financial Officer Douglas A. Koman acquired 1,263 shares, paying $13.29 per share for a total amount of $16,785.

With the exception of Mr. Gates’ purchase, the rest of these shares were acquired in a 401(k) plan.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Methode Electronics Inc. here.

P/E: 20.46 Forward P/E: 10.17 Industry P/E: 7.69
P/S: 0.92 Price/Book: 1.52 EV/EBITDA: 9.16
Market Cap: $391.36M Avg. Daily Volume: 101,187 52 Week Range: $7.85 – $13.73

5. dELiA*s, Inc. (DLIA): $1.9

Shares of this apparel retailer were acquired by two insiders:

  • Director Michael Zimmerman acquired 42,854 shares, paying $1.81 per share for a total amount of $77,450.
  • President, dELiA*s Brand, Dyan Jozwick acquired 20,000 shares, paying $1.75 per share for a total amount of $35,000. Ms. Jozwick increased her stake by 66.67% to 50,000 shares with this purchase.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for dELiA*s, Inc. here.

P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 0.27 Price/Book: 0.74 EV/EBITDA: -4.7
Market Cap: $59.72M Avg. Daily Volume: 60,192 52 Week Range: $1.3 – $2.4

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

Notable Insider Sales:

1. Apollo Group Inc. (APOL): $49.62

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

  • Executive Chairman of the Board John G. Sperling sold 945,665 shares for $49.04, generating $46.37 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through a trust.
  • Vice Chairman of the Board Peter V. Sperling sold 213,300 shares for $49.51, generating $10.56 million from the sale.

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

P/E: 18.68 Forward P/E: 15.22 Industry P/E: 12
P/S: 1.4 Price/Book: 5.29 EV/EBITDA: 4.1
Market Cap: $7.03B Avg. Daily Volume: 2,141,240 52 Week Range: $33.75 – $53.61

2. Guess? Inc. (GES): $39.53

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

  • Vice Chairman and CEO Paul Marciano sold 200,000 shares for $44.63, generating $8.93 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through a trust.
  • Chairman of the Board Maurice Marciano sold 150,000 shares for $43.95, generating $6.59 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through a trust.

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

P/E: 13.04 Forward P/E: 9.98 Industry P/E: 14
P/S: 1.45 Price/Book: 3.28 EV/EBITDA: 6.72
Market Cap: $3.66B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,852,650 52 Week Range: $32.05 – $51.53

3. Titan Machinery, Inc. (TITN): $26.85

Shares of this agricultural and construction equipment retailer were sold by two insiders:

  • Chairman and CEO David Joseph Meyer sold 300,000 shares for $27.80, generating $8.34 million from the sale.
  • President and COO Peter J. Christianson sold 200,000 shares for $27.80, generating $5.56 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through By C.I. Farm Power, Inc.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Titan Machinery, Inc. here.

P/E: 17.46 Forward P/E: 14.83 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 0.38 Price/Book: 2.04 EV/EBITDA: 12.63
Market Cap: $476.67M Avg. Daily Volume: 488,284 52 Week Range: $12.48 – $32.03

4. The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX): $55.26

Shares of this discount department stores company were sold by six insiders:

  • CEO – TJX Carol Meyrowitz sold 87,375 shares for $55.09, generating $4.81 million from the sale.
  • SEVP, CFO Jeffrey G. Naylor sold 50,104 shares for $55.00, generating $2.76 million from the sale. These shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
  • SEVP, Group President Jerome R. Rossi sold 34,220 shares for $54.75, generating $1.87 million from the sale. These shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
  • President Ernie Herrman sold 15,000 shares for $55.04, generating $825,627 from the sale. These shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
  • SEVP, Group President, Europe Paul Sweetenham sold 12,964 shares for $55.58, generating $720,481 from the sale. 9,534 of these shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
  • Director Amy B. Lane sold 150 shares for $55.59, generating $8,339 from the sale.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for The TJX Companies, Inc. here.

P/E: 17.36 Forward P/E: 12.56 Industry P/E: 22.88
P/S: 0.96 Price/Book: 6.81 EV/EBITDA: 7.76
Market Cap: $21.34B Avg. Daily Volume: 3,229,570 52 Week Range: $39.56 – $55.27

5. OYO Geospace Corp. (OYOG): $101.87

Shares of this seismic instruments company were sold by three insiders:

  • President and CEO Gary D. Owens sold 42,961 shares for $105.22, generating $4.52 million from the sale. 13,301 of these shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
  • Vice President, CFO and Secretary Thomas T. McEntire sold 21,597 shares for $104.52, generating $2.26 million from the sale. These shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
  • SVP and Chief Technical Officer Michael J. Sheen sold 12,027 shares for $104.47, generating $1.26 million from the sale.

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

P/E: 23.42 Forward P/E: 17.87 Industry P/E: 5.9
P/S: 3.84 Price/Book: 4.02 EV/EBITDA: 13.37
Market Cap: $637.30M Avg. Daily Volume: 69,095 52 Week Range: $45.17 – $109.99

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

Source: Insider Buys and Sells: Blyth Inc., Apollo Group