10 Small Cap Stocks With Recent CEO Buys Of At Least $100,000

by: The Keating Letter

Since my last update on CEO insider buying, there has been an explosion of purchases. The buys of at least $100,000 in the past month have been the highest level I’ve seen since I started following insider purchases. That tells me that while CEOs may not necessarily be bullish on the overall markets, they do feel very strongly about their own companies and feel that their stocks are undervalued. I believe this bodes well for the stock market and for most of these individual companies.

Below are 10 small-cap stocks with CEO buys of at least $100,000. Information comes from www.SECForm4.com:

Energy XXI (EXXI): CEO John Schiller joined three other executives by buying shares in the past week. Schiller bought 10,000 shares on August 23 for $24.02 per share. EXXI is an oil and natural gas driller focused on Texas, Louisiana, and in the Gulf. Shares are about 34% off of their 52 week highs but their prospects appear to be bright. Several analysts have price targets significantly higher than the current price.

The Greenbrier Companies (NYSE:GBX): Greenbrier makes railroad freight cars in North America and Europe and barges for use in North America. This $392 million market cap company is struggling from higher input costs and margin compression. However, the stock is down 30% since mid-July. The sell-off may be overdone. CEO William Furman certainly thinks so. He has bought 120,000 shares since early August. His most recent purchase on August 23 was for 20,000 shares at an average purchase price of $13.10. The stock is already 20% higher than that.

Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE:AHT): Like Greenbrier, Ashford Trust’s CEO has been making large purchases recently. He has bought more than 99,000 shares of this hotel-focused REIT since August 8. Montgomery Bennett’s most recent buy was on August 22 and 23 for 29,481 shares. The average purchase price was $7.22 per share. The company had a 6 million share offering in late June. Since then, shares are off more than 35%.

Oritani Financial (NASDAQ:ORIT): Oritani is a $716 million market cap company that runs a bank in New Jersey. They have 22 branches and were founded in 1911. CEO Kevin Lynch bought 10,000 shares on August 22 at $11.75 per share. The stock will be added to the S&P SmallCap 600 at the close of trading on August 31. That has helped to push shares near 52 week highs.

NL Industries (NYSE:NL): CEO Harold Simmons has been aggressively buying stock since August 9. Most recently he bought 10,000 shares on August 22. That purchase totaled $125,000. NL Industries is a $656 million market cap components product maker.

Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE): Blue Nile is a $520 million market cap online jeweler. Shares hit 2 week lows last week, prompting CEO Diane Irvine to buy 7,500 shares on August 22. Her average purchase price was $31.27.

DepoMed (NASDAQ:DEPO): DeoMed is a pharmaceutical company focusing on improving existing drugs by providing oral delivery technologies. CEO James Schoeneck bought 20,000 company shares on August 23 at an average price of $5.13.

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE:PEB): CEO Jon Bortz made purchases on August 15, 17, 18 and 19. In total, he bought 25,000 shares for about $382,000. His average purchase price was $15.26. You can get shares cheaper than that today. Pebblebrook is a $762 million market cap hotel REIT. At today’s payout, shares yield 3.2%

DXP Enterprises (NASDAQ:DXPE): CEO David Little bought 10,000 shares on August 19. His purchase totaled $208,500. DXP is a $311 million market cap industrial equipment wholesaler headquartered in Houston. Shares trade at a 13 multiple.

Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC): This bank merged with Whitney Holdings in December and currently has a $2.5 billion market cap. Shares yield an attractive 3.3%. CEO Carl Chaney bought 5,700 shares on August 18 and 22. These buys totaled $154,710. Shares trade at a Price to Tangible Book Ratio of 1.6.

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