On Monday, corporate insiders and leading funds reported buying and selling activity in shares of Bank of America (BAC), Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and other leading public companies, as revealed through their filing of SEC Forms 3 and 4 in the case of corporate insiders, and Forms 13-D and 13-G (5% ownership filings) in the case of institutional investors. We pay attention to these corporate insider and institutional filings as they give us clues to the health of these companies, and the industries that they operate in.
Furthermore, these filings are extremely timely, as in the case of Forms 3 and 4, the transactions must be reported within a few days of the trade, and in the case of Forms 13-D and 13-G, they must be filed within ten days after the transactions are completed. In contrast, the information in the Institutional quarterly 13-F filings, although important, can be as much as eighteen weeks old by the time it is disseminated to the public.
While trading based on material, non-public information is considered fraudulent, and the U.S. is generally viewed as having the strictest laws and enforcement against such illegal insider trading, most believe that such trading does happen around the edges. Either way, we believe that investors can benefit from the timely knowledge of such corporate insider transactions. In the case of institutional 13-D and 13-G 5% ownership filings, they indicate high confidence or high conviction moves, and are often a precursor to a hostile takeover, company breakup and other “change of control” events, and hence can inform our decision making.
The following are some of the major corporate insider and institutional SEC filings on Monday, October 17th, that can aid in identifying trading opportunities:
Bank of America (BAC): BAC is a global holding company offering banking and non-banking financial services in the U.S. and over 40 foreign countries. Insiders currently hold 0.1% of company shares, and last week four insiders exercised their options and sold the resulting shares, selling a total of 20,576 shares or less than 0.0002% of the outstanding shares of BAC. This included the company’s co-COO’s Thomas Montag and David Darnell, General Counsel Edward O’Keefe, and CFO Bruce Thompson.
YRC Worldwide Inc. (YRCW): YRCW is an international provider of asset and non-asset based transportation services across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, Guam and Mexico. Hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management, headed by Jeffrey Altman, sold 5.2 million shares last week from their 58.9 million share position.
Apache Corp. (APA): APA is engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas globally, with exploration and production interests in North America in the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast, east Texas, the Permian basin, the Anadarko basin, and the Western Sedimentary basin of Canada; and internationally in Egypt, Australia, United Kingdom, Argentina and Chile. Insiders hold 0.4% of the company shares, and on Monday Director Joung Chansoo bought 5,000 shares for $450,000, increasing his ownership in the company to 15,569 shares.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS): LVS owns, develops and operates various integrated resort properties in the U.S., Macau, and Singapore, including The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, and The Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada; the Sands Macao, The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, the Plaza Casino, and the Four Seasons Hotel in Macau, the People’s Republic of China; and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Insiders hold 8.0% of the company, and last Friday, President and COO Michael Leven exercised options and had an automatic sell of the resulting 150,000 shares at $6.7 million, as part of a previously disclosed 10b5-1 trading plan under which he has sold between 125,000 and 150,000 shares every month this year. Subsequent to the transaction, Mr. Leven holds 3,612 shares in LVS.
Consol Energy Inc. (CNX): CNX is a producer of bituminous coal and coal-bed methane gas primarily in the northern and central Appalachian and Illinois basins. Insider hold 0.5% of the company, and last Thursday, John Whitmire, Vice Chairman of the Board, exercised options to buy 1,886 shares, and now holds 40,689 shares in CNX.
Western Refining Inc. (WNR): WNR refines and markets crude oil and refined products in West TX, AZ, NM, UT, CO and the mid-Atlantic region. Insiders hold 40.8% of company shares, and last Friday Director, Vice President, Assistant Treasurer and Assistant Secretary Scott D. Weaver, via his investment partnership Franklin Mountain Investments Ltd., sold 85,000 shares for $1.4 million as part of an automated 10b5-1 trading plan, and now holds 17.8 million shares subsequent to the transaction. Furthermore, last Friday, Chairman of the Board Paul L. Foster, sold 63,750 shares for $1.1 million, also part of an automated 10b5-1 trading plan, and now holds 25.3 million shares subsequent to the transaction.
EXCO Resources Inc. (XCO): XCO is an independent oil and natural gas company, engaged in the exploration, exploitation, development and production of onshore North American oil and natural gas properties with a focus on shale resource plays. Insiders hold 15.7% of the company shares, and last Thursday Atlanta-based hedge fund Invesco Private Capital, with over $1 billion in assets under management and headed by Wilbur Ross, purchased 7,900 shares, adding to the 21 million shares (9.8% of company’s outstanding shares) that they reported holding in their 13-F filing for the June quarter. Invesco Private Capital is a subsidiary of investment management company Invesco (IVZ), with over $650 billion in assets under management.
GT Advanced Tech Inc. (GTAT): GTAT provides poly-silicon production technology and multi-crystalline ingot growth systems, and related photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing services for the solar industry worldwide. Insiders hold 1.4% of the company shares, and last week company Vice-President and Chief Administrative Officer Kim Ho Il, sold 2,418 shares, and now holds 21,910 shares subsequent to the transaction.