Insider Buying: 4 CEO Buys of at Least $99,000 in the Past Week

by: The Keating Letter

This week there were four significant CEO purchases. Three of the buys were more than $250,000, and one was slightly under $100,000. I prefer to follow CEO and CFO purchases as opposed to director buys because I believe those two positions should have a unique perspective on potential catalysts or pitfalls for the stock. Of course, these people also fall victim to the same emotions other investors do, so lists like this should be a starting point for research.

Below are four stocks with recent CEO buys of at least $99,000 in the past week:

F.N.B Corp. (NYSE:FNB): CEO Stephen Gurgovits bought 10,000 company shares on July 28 at $9.93 per share. F.N.B. is a Pennsylvania-based financial services firm with $9.9 billion in assets. F.N.B. announced on June 15 it was acquiring Parkvale Financial (NASDAQ:PVSA) for $130 million in stock. Gurgovits obviously feels positive about the transaction. It’s expected to end by the end of the year. F.N.B. reported solid quarterly earnings last week. Shares also have a strong dividend and are currently yielding 4.8%.

Apollo Residential Mortgage (NYSE:AMTG): Apollo Residential Mortgage had their IPO on July 21 at $20 per share. Shares are now trading 10% lower. CEO Michael Commaroto participated in the offering through a previously agreed upon private placement by buying 50,000 shares on July 27. His purchase was valued at $1 million. Apollo Residential Mortgage is an indirect subsidiary of Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO) and was organized “to invest in, finance and manage mortgage-backed securities, residential mortgage loans and other residential mortgage assets.”

Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN): CEO Thomas Fallon bought 50,000 shares on July 27 at an average price of $6.52. The purchase totaled more than $325,000. Fallon was joined by Executive Vice President David Welch. Welch bought 150,000 shares between July 27 and 29 at an average price of $6.79. According to Infinera, they “specialize in Digital Optical Networking systems that are designed to continually improve the economics of optical networking by combining the speed of optics with the simplicity of digital.” The company recently reported earnings. To read Fallon’s comments about the quarter, see the conference call. He was optimistic on the call and, obviously, backed that up with his purchase.

Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN): CEO Stephen Steinour had two recent transactions. He was awarded more than 200,000 restricted shares on July 25. He then purchased 41,525 shares on the open market on July 26. The purchase price was $6.02 for a total buy of just under $250,000. Huntington Bancshares is a $5.2 billion market cap bank headquartered in Ohio. The stock is trading at a price to book value of 1.1. After a rough few years during the crisis, the bank has been consistently profitable the last few years and reported better than expected earnings on July 22. Shares yield 2.7%.

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