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Small-cap companies are usually not followed by analysts, which makes choosing the right small cap (market cap < $2 billion) more difficult. Choosing the right small companies to invest in can be daunting; however, insider purchases provide a good starting point. Insiders, especially executives and directors of small companies, tend to know their companies very well. Tracking their stock purchase activities can generate lucrative returns.

Below is a list of notable insider purchases of small-cap stocks filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. Following Seeking Alpha's small-cap policy, all the stocks discussed below are greater than $1 per share or have a market cap of at least $100 million.

I have written a short analysis of each company's financial records. However, these are not buying and selling recommendations. It is also important to pay attention to how much the insiders buy, especially with respect to the size of their company and their regular income. I have filtered out those transactions with a total value of less than $10,000. As Peter Lynch pointed out in his book One Up On Wall Street, insiders sell for various reasons, which is usually not very informative unless they are dumping shares like there is no tomorrow. Insiders buy for one reason: They are signaling that they have confidence in the company's future performance. Of course, insiders could be wrong. It is nevertheless a good starting point to add those stocks to your watch list.

1. GP Strategies Corp. (NYSE:GPX) is a services company, specifically in the industry of education and training services. It has a market cap of $317.80 million. According to today's SEC filing, GP Strategies has two insiders who purchased a total of 17,200 shares at a total value of $286,932. Multiple insider purchases are usually a positive sign. Given that its price is only 6.87% lower than its 52-week high, the overall market sentiment appears positive. This company's value seems too rich with a relatively high PEG ratio of 1.55. GP Strategies has a decent operating margin of 8.18%. The recent trading volume is below average.

2. Hercules Offshore, Inc. (NASDAQ:HERO) is a basic materials company, specifically in the industry of oil and gas drilling and exploration. It has a market cap of $539.50 million. According to today's SEC filing, Hercules Offshore has one insider who purchased a total of 50,000 shares at a total value of $168,700. One concern is that the company isn't profitable at this point. The trading volume has been consolidating recently. This is a stock that rates very low on my watch list.

3. Penseco Financial Services Corp. (OTCQB:PFNS) is a bank in the Southeast. It has a market cap of $124.50 million. According to today's SEC filing, Penseco Financial Services has one insider who purchased a total of 500 shares at a total value of $19,030. Given that its price is only 7.32% lower than its 52-week high, the overall market sentiment appears positive. Penseco Financial Services has a very healthy operating margin of 33.31%. Over the past 10 days, Penseco Financial Services has seen significantly higher than average trading volume. The company has a decent dividend payout that provides a minimum margin of safety. The company appears attractive here.

4. Rockwell Medical Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:RMTI) is a healthcare company, specifically in the industry of medical appliances and equipment. It has a market cap of $178.30 million. According to today's SEC filing, Rockwell Medical Technologies has one insider who purchased a total of 5,000 shares at a total value of $42,650. One concern is that the company isn't profitable at this point. Despite the insider purchase, I'm not very positive about the company's prospects.

5. Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI) is a Mid-Atlantic bank. It has a market cap of $367 million. According to today's SEC filing, Southside Bancshares has one insider who purchased a total of 2,500 shares at a total value of $52,750. Its stock price is about 3.16% below its 52-week high, usually a positive technical indicator for the company. The well-above 1 PEG ratio suggests it's somewhat overvalued. I like Southside Bancshares' operating margin of 43.54%, a good sign for the company's financial health. The company has a decent dividend payout that provides a minimum margin of safety. I would put this company on my watch list.

6. Texas Industries, Inc. (NYSE:TXI) is an industrial goods company, specifically in the industry of cement. It has a market cap of $989.90 million. According to today's SEC filing, Texas Industries has one insider who purchased a total of 36,100 shares at a total value of $1,267,832. Given that its price is only 17.89% lower than its 52-week high, the overall market sentiment appears positive. The company is currently losing money operationally. Its business has to see a turnaround for the situation to become more positive. Although this is large insider purchase, I would not buy the stock at this point.

Source: 6 Small Caps Purchased By Insiders Today