4 Noteworthy Insider Buys And 6 Sells Last Week In Finance, Industrials And Service Sector Stocks

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Includes: BAC, CMI, ITW, NDAQ, PSA, RSG, TRV, TWO, UDR, VTR
by: GuruFundPicks

Last week (May 14th to 18th, 2012), insiders made noteworthy buys and sells (see definition below) in several finance, industrial and service sector stocks (our prior articles on last week's noteworthy buys in the biotech, technology, mining and energy, and consumer and retail stocks can be accessed by clicking on the above hyperlinks).

The transactions in this article were selected based on a review of over 2,200 separate SEC Form 4 (insider trading) filings last week, as part of our daily and weekly coverage of insider trades. The filings are noteworthy based on the dollar amount sold, the number of insiders buying or selling, and based on whether the overall buying or selling represents a strong pick-up based on historical buying and selling in the stock. The following are two of the more significant noteworthy trades in the finance, industrial and service sectors last week (for more info on how to interpret insider trades, please refer to the end of this article):

Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE:TRV): TRV provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations and individuals primarily in the U.S. On Tuesday, Chairman & CEO Jay Fishman filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he exercised options to acquire 250,000 shares and sold those and an additional 50,000 shares for $19.4 million, pursuant to a 10b5-1 automated trading plan, ending with 0.52 million shares indirect and indirect holdings (not including derivative securities). In comparison, insiders sold 0.91 million shares in the past year.

TRV reported a strong Q1 (March) quarter four weeks ago, missing on revenues but beating analyst earnings estimates ($2.01 v/s $1.53). Its shares are up about 4% since the report, trading near all-time highs and at 10 forward P/E and 1.0 P/B compared to averages of 13.3 and 1.8 for its peers in the property and casualty insurance group.

Ventas Inc. (NYSE:VTR): VTR is a publicly-owned real estate investment trust (REIT) that engages in the investment, management, financing and leasing of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, senior housing facilities, medical office buildings, and other healthcare related facilities in the U.S. and Canada. On Friday, EVP Richard Riney filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he exercised options and sold the resulting 146,704 shares for $8.5 million, pursuant to an automated 10b5-1 plan, ending with 0.25 million shares in direct and indirect holdings (not including derivate securities). In comparison, corporate insiders sold 0.51 million shares in the past year.

VTR has been a long-term outperformer, rising over 15-fold since 2000, and it currently trades at a current 16.2 P/E on a TTM (trailing-twelve-month) basis and 1.8 P/B compared to averages of 13.8 and 1.2 for its peers in the equity trust REIT group.

Insiders reported noteworthy buys last week the finance, industrial and service sector stocks in:

  • non-hazardous solid waste collection services company Republic Services Inc. (NYSE:RSG), in which 10% owner Bill Gates via Cascade Investments LLC purchased 0.95 million shares for $24.7 million;
  • Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ), that provides securities listing, trading, clearing, and information products and services worldwide, in which Stockholm-based Investor AB, an insider by virtue of being a 10% owner of company shares, bought 0.3 million shares for $7.1 million, increasing its holdings to 18.9 million shares;
  • Two Harbors Investment (NYSE:TWO), that is a REIT that focuses on investing in, financing and managing residential mortgage-backed securities and related investments, in which five insiders purchased 33,300 shares for $0.34 million, in comparison to 0.40 million shares purchased by insiders in the past year; and
  • Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), that is a global financial services company providing banking and financial services to individuals, small- and middle-market businesses, corporations and governments primarily in the U.S., and also internationally in over 40 foreign countries, in which Director Donald Powell purchased 12,000 shares for $88,320, in comparison to 47,000 shares purchased by insiders in the past year.

On top of these, insiders also reported noteworthy sales last week in the finance, industrial and service sector stocks in:

  • REIT Public Storage (NYSE:PSA) that acquires, owns and operates over 2,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S. and Europe, in which Chairman Emeritus Wayne Hughes sold 0.18 million shares for $24.5 million, in comparison to 1.93 million shares sold by insiders in the past year;
  • Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW), that is a manufacturer of plastic and metal fasteners and fastening tools for the construction, automotive and appliance markets, in which EVP Juan Valls sold 37,400 shares for $2.1 million, in comparison to 0.53 million shares sold by insiders in the past year;
  • Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI), that manufactures diesel and natural gas engines, electric power generation systems and engine-related component products for OEMs worldwide, in which two insiders sold 13,000 shares for $1.4 million, in comparison to 86,029 shares sold by insiders in the past year; and
  • UDR Inc. (NYSE:UDR), that operates as a self-administered equity REIT that owns, acquires, renovates, develops and manages middle-market apartment communities, in which CFO David Messenger sold 35,000 shares for $0.94 million, in comparison to 0.15 million shares sold by insiders in the past year.

Credit: Fundamental data in this article and company descriptions are based on SEC filings, Zacks Investment Research, Yahoo, Thomson Reuters and Briefing.com. The information and data is believed to be accurate, but no guarantees or representations are made.

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

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