By Nelson Ham
There is really only one reason insiders buy shares of a company -- they believe the stock price is going to move higher and they want to profit from it. Market-driven sell-offs provide a perfect opportunity to snap up shares for investors who have faith in a company. Here are some stocks that have seen recent insider buying.
Assured Guaranty (NYSE:AGO): Two directors have purchased shares recently, including more than 400,000, worth more than $4.8 million, this week. This Bermuda-based financial company has a dividend yield of 1.6% and a market cap of $2.1 billion. Its share price is about 3% higher than a week ago but is still down more than 31% from a year ago. The stock has outperformed competitor MBIA (NYSE:MBI) year to date, but it also has underperformed the broader markets.
Clearwire (CLWR): One director has recently purchased more than 2.7 million shares, worth more than $5 million, of this wireless broadband services provider, a subsidiary of Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S). Clearwire has a market cap of $2.1 billion. Shares jumped more than 45% this past week but are still down about 55% year to date. Over that time, the stock has underperformed Sprint and the broader markets.
Federal-Mogul (NASDAQ:FDML): Investor Carl Icahn has been buying shares this month, including more than 250,000 shares in the past week, worth more than $4 million. This Michigan-based producer of automotive, marine and aerospace components is a subsidiary of Icahn Sourcing, and its P/E ratio is 7.7. The share price has fallen about 10% in the past week and is down more than 14% year over year. The stock performance has been in line with competitor Dana Holding (NYSE:DAN) year to date.
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM): The CIO and two directors have purchased more than 190,000 shares, worth about $7.3 million, this month. This New York-based financial giant has a dividend yield of 2.8%, a market cap of $137.2 billion, and a P/E ratio of 7.5. Shares dropped about 4% in the past week and are down almost 4% from a year ago. But the stock has outperformed competitors Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) year to date.
Leap Wireless (LEAP): Two directors have been buying shares lately, including more than 3 million shares, worth about $30 million, this week. This San Diego-based digital wireless services provider has a market cap of $698.1 million. Its share price jumped more than 18% in the past week, but shares are still down almost 18% from a year ago. The stock has outperformed competitor Sprint Nextel and the broader markets since the beginning of the year.
Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF): So far in August, investor Carl Icahn has purchased more than 750,000 shares, worth more the $5 million, of this company behind AMC's Mad Men and the upcoming remake of Conan the Barbarian. This film and television producer has a market cap of $977.8 million and a long-term EPS growth forecast of 16.9%. The share price is nearly 4% higher this week and up more than 12% year over year. The stock has outperformed the broader markets year to date.
Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE:PNK): The CEO, an EVP and a director have bought more than 65,000 shares, worth about $760,000, of this Las Vegas-based casino operator this month. Its market cap is $722.2 million and its shares are trading about 14% higher than a year ago. The stock has outperformed competitors Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD), Isle of Capri Casinos (NASDAQ:ISLE) and MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) year to date, but underperformed the broader markets.
Valhi (NYSE:VHI): The chairman of the board has been periodically buying shares of this industrial products manufacturer all summer, including more than 33,000 shares worth more than $1.6 million this week. This company has a market cap of $5.5 billion and its dividend yield is 1.0%. The share price fell about 6% in the past week but is more than 120% higher year to date. The stock has outperformed the broader markets in that time.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.