Analyzing Tuesday's Noteworthy Insider Buys And Sells

by: GuruFundPicks

Insiders reported on Tuesday that they bought and sold stock in over 200 separate transactions in over 115 different companies. These transactions have to be reported within two days of the trade, so the transactions occurred sometime late last week and early this week. We culled through these 200 or so insider buys and sells (based on SEC Forms 3, 4, and 5 filings), as part of our daily and weekly coverage of insider trades, and present here the most notable trades reported on Tuesday; notable based on the dollar amount sold, the number of insiders selling, and based on whether the overall buying or selling represents a strong pick-up based on historical buying and selling in the stock (for more info on how to interpret insider trades, please refer to the end of this article):

EXCO Resources Inc. (NYSE: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. On Tuesday, Chairman & CEO Douglas Miller filed SEC Form 4 sold 1.2 million shares for $9.3 million, ending with 0.8 million shares (and an additional 0.4 million shares in indirect control). In the explanation of responses section, Mr. Miller does state that the sale was involuntary, effected by a lender to satisfy certain margin loan requirements, but we report it here as noteworthy on basis of its size, and given the fact that the shares sold are a significant portion of his overall position in the company. Overall, insiders sold a total of 5.0 million shares in the past year. XCO trades at the lows of the year, down more than 50% in the past year, and it trades at a discount 13 forward P/E and 1.2 P/B compared to the averages of 20.6 and 5.2 for the U.S. oil & gas exploration & production group.

Warner Chilcott Plc (NASDAQ:WCRX): WCRX is a leading specialty pharmaceutical developer of branded prescription drugs for women's healthcare, gastroenterology, dermatology and urology segments of the North American and Western European pharmaceuticals markets. On Tuesday, ten insiders filed SEC Forms 4 indicating that they sold a total of 24,813 shares for $0.4 million, under 10b5-1 plans. Of these, the majority (13,652 shares) were sold by CEO Roger Boissonneault, and the other nine are all SVP's and EVP's at the company. Overall, insiders sold a total of 30,643 shares in the past three months. WCRX trades at just over 4 forward P/E compared to 26.5 average for its peers in the medical drugs group.

PPL Corp. (NYSE:PPL): PPL is a holding company engaged in electric generation, marketing and distribution in northeastern and northwestern U.S. to approximately 5.3 million utility customers. On Tuesday, two insiders, CFO Paul Farr and SVP Robert Grey, filed SEC Forms 4 indicating that they sold a total of 13,708 shares for $0.4 million, under 10b5-1 plans, with the shares sold being acquired after exercising options. Overall, insiders sold a total of 95,435 shares in the past year. PPL has a dividend yield of 5.0% versus the 3.8% average for its peers in the electric power utilities group, and it also trades at discount 11-12 forward P/E versus the 16.4 average for the group.

McMoran Exploration Co. (NYSE:MMR): MMR is engaged in oil and natural gas exploration and production in offshore Gulf of Mexico and U.S. onshore Gulf Coast area. On Tuesday, CFO Nancy Parmelee filed SEC Form 4 indicating that she exercised options to acquire 25,000 shares, and sold 15,780 of those shares for $0.2 million. Overall, insiders sold only an additional 2,750 shares in the past year. MMR currently generates losses, and it trades at 1.2 P/B and 3.6 PSR compared to averages of 1.8 and 7.5 for its peers in the U.S. oil & gas exploration & production group.

Atmel Corp. (NASDAQ:ATML): ATML manufactures a wide range of highly integrated semiconductor integrated circuit products, including microcontrollers, application specific ICs, non-volatile memory, and RF components. On Tuesday, EVP Tsung Ching Wu filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he exercised options and then sold the resulting 100,000 shares for $1.0 million, under a 10b5-1 plan. Overall, insiders sold only an additional 90,097 shares in the past three months. ATML has traded weak since the company released lackluster Q3 results in early November; however, shares have recently perked up after the beginning of the year on optimism about sales of its touch-screen controller chips that go into a variety of electronic devices. Currently, its shares trade at 15-16 forward P/E compared to the average 20.6 for its peers in the electronic components semiconductor group.

Chelsea Therapeutics Intl (NASDAQ:CHTP): CHTP is a clinical-stage biotech that is developing prescription products in multiple therapeutic categories such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions. On Tuesday, 10% owner Josiah Austin on behalf of his investment holding company El Coronado Holdings filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he purchased 40,000 shares for $0.2 million, increasing his position in the company to 8.3 million shares. Mr. Austin and his family own and operate agricultural properties in Arizona and in Mexico via the El Coronado Ranch & Cattle Company, and he serves on the Board of Directors of several public companies. CHTP is currently scheduled for a February 23rd FDA advisory committee meeting to review its NDA for Northera, a treatment for symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH) in patients with Parkinson's disease, as well as other norepinephrine related conditions and diseases.

On top of these, some additional large insider trades last week included a $3.6 million sale by two insiders, SVP Lisa Brummel and Chief Accounting Officer Frank Brod, at Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT); a $1.7 million purchase by Chairman of the Board Harold Simmons at titanium dioxide manufacturer Kronos Worldwide (NYSE:KRO); a $2.1 million sale by CFO Mark Loughridge at International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM); a $1.4 million sale by two insiders, Director Elizabeth Vanderslice and SVP Raja Petrakian, at fabless semiconductor designer Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX); a $5.8 million sale by Director Eugene McGrath at utility company Consolidated Edison Inc. (NYSE:ED); and a $4.1 million sale by EVP Michael Glenn at Fedex Corp. (NYSE:FDX).

Credit: Fundamental data in this article were based on SEC filings, I-Metrix® by Edgar Online®, Zacks Investment Research, Thomson Reuters and The information and data is believed to be accurate, but no guarantees or representations are made.

Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as a solicitation to purchase or sell securities. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. Further, these are our 'opinions' and we may be wrong. We may have positions in securities mentioned in this article. You should take this into consideration before acting on any advice given in this article. If this makes you uncomfortable, then do not listen to our thoughts and opinions. The contents of this article do not take into consideration your individual investment objectives so consult with your own financial adviser before making an investment decision. Investing includes certain risks including loss of principal.

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