Insiders made noteworthy buys (see definition below) in three energy and industrial sector stocks this past week (June 11th to 15th, 2012), and sold five others. These, along with insider buys and sells last week in other sectors and groups (discussed in prior articles on the consumer sector, the retail sector, and the healthcare sector) were selected based on a review of over 1,300 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 (for more info on how to interpret insider trades, please refer to our instablog discussion on insider trading):
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE): CLNE, founded by famed energy investor and hedge fund manager Boone Pickens, provides natural gas as an alternative fuel to vehicle fleets in the U.S. and Canada, including customers in the refuse, transit, shuttle, taxi, intrastate and interstate trucking, airport and municipal fleet markets. On Thursday, Director John Herrington filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he purchased 21,400 shares for $0.28 million, ending with 0.12 million shares in indirect holdings after the purchase. In comparison, insiders purchased only an additional 4,900 shares in the past two years, with the 4,900 shares purchase made by Director James Miller last month.
In its latest Q1 (March), the company missed analyst revenue estimates ($74 million v/s $81 million). Also, it beat earnings estimates by a penny (16c loss v/s 17c loss), but they were well below the 5c loss reported in the year-ago quarter. This is a reversal from the outperformance in the prior Q4 (December), when it strongly beat revenues ($86 million v/s $73 million). A play on CLNE is really a bet on natural 'gasification' of our transportation system, especially the trucking segment that would need to shift from diesel to LNG. Various pieces of that transition are being put in place, including trucking manufacturers offering LNG-fueled models, and the building of a network of natural gas fuel stations across our interstate highway system.
CLNE is the brain-child of legendary investor T Boone Pickens, and anybody familiar with his investing track record should get added confidence from his involvement. Earlier this month, the prospects for natural gas use got a boost with the announcement by construction and mining equipment manufacturing leader Caterpillar (CAT) that it was teaming with Westport Innovations Inc. (WPRT), a supplier of high-performance, low-emission engines and fuel injection systems that use natural gas, LPG and biogas, for the development of natural gas technology for off-road equipment.
In addition to CLNE, insiders also reported noteworthy buys this past week in two other energy and industrial sector stocks:
- Chesapeake Energy (CHK), an independent oil and gas company, with its primary operating assets in mid-continent region of Oklahoma, western Arkansas, southwestern Kansas and the Texas panhandle, in which COO Steven Dixon filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he purchased 860 shares for $15,054, in addition to also exercising options to acquire an additional 30,000 shares, thereby ending with 1.18 million shares in direct and indirect holdings after the purchase. This is the first insider purchase in the last six months.
- Fastenal Co. (FAST), a wholesaler and retailer of industrial and construction supplies sold through 2,566 stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Singapore and China, in which EVP Leland Hein filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he purchased 3,300 shares for $0.13 million, in comparison to insiders purchasing 33,437 shares in the past two years.
On top of these, noteworthy insider sells this past week in the energy and industrial sectors included:
- an $11.5 million sale by two insiders at Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), that is a manufacturer of plastic and metal fasteners and fastening tools for the construction, automotive, and appliance markets;
- a $10.2 million sale by Chairman Donald Felsinger at Sempra Energy (SRE), a holding company engaged in natural gas and electric utility services;
- a $1.1 million sale by two insiders at JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT), that is a diversified transportation services and logistics provider, operating in intermodal, dedicated contract services, full-load dry-van and integrated capacity solutions segments;
- a $1.0 million sale by five insiders at Western Refining Inc. (WNR), that refines and markets crude oil and refined products in West TX, AZ, NM, UT, CO and the mid-Atlantic region; and
- a $1.0 million sale by Chairman & CEO Scott Sheffield at Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), that is engaged in the exploration and production oil and gas in the U.S. and South Africa.
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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