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  • Daily Round Up 9/24/14: Mercer International, OPKO Health, New Media, CTI BioPharma [View article]
    Hi Deercreek.

    Yes, but the insider trades only became public knowledge after the market closed on 9/24. The volume of shares sold on 9/22 were a tiny fraction of those traded on that down Monday, and couldn't be considered enough to move the market themselves. The track records of the sellers have not been reliably predictive enough to provoke others to sell even if they did find out about the trades as they occurred. And the volume of the 9/22 10b5-1 sales was not out of the ordinary for LGF, and past 10b5-1 sales of even larger size have not caused a gap down.

    All these factors fed through our system to generate an "Insignificantly Bearish" rating--and my manual check now confirms that was the right call as far as we're concerned.

    Something unrelated to this insider activity caused the poor session. I'm not familiar enough with the box office news over the preceding weekend to suggest it may have caused LGF to open up so poorly last Monday. Perhaps another SA follower has that insight. 9/22 was certainly a bad day for the market, however.

    As always, just my $0.02.

    Jonathan Moreland
    Dir. of Research
    Sep 25 10:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Animal Spirits Alive At IDEXX Labs [View article]
    Hey Walter. Given this conversation string I thought I owed it to you and the SA community to relay the alert we sent out on IDXX today. You may commence your crowing if you like ;-). We're just following through on what we wrote. Be well!

    "Dear InsiderInsights Subscribers,

    We stated the game plan when we entered IDXX just five short weeks ago, and are following through with it now by taking a quick 8.7% trading loss in this position.

    Specifically, we wrote in our 8/28 issue that: “we will be giving more weight to the technical health of IDXX when deciding if we need to reassess our own bullishness. We’re ok buying in after IDXX broke through its 50-day moving average after Q2. As of now, the stock has the look of one that has bottomed, and about to attempt another uptrend. But we would be alarmed if IDXX broke below its 200-day moving average, now around $120.”

    Well, with IDXX now below $118 on higher-than-average volume over the past two sessions, the alarm bells are going off.

    If we have been shaken out, so be it. We’ve been doing this too long not to pay attention to when a stock—particularly a high-priced one—breaks below a last important technical support--no matter how strong an insider signal is.

    Having delved into IDXX’ fundamentals and growth trends, however, we do like its long-term prospects. We would consider another bite at this apple if and when it attempts another uptrend—or if the stock ends up plummeting after breaking through an important technical support. Any news behind any future price action will obviously be important to that consideration. But we are out of IDXX now."

    Jonathan Moreland
    Dir of Research
    Sep 19 02:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Animal Spirits Alive At IDEXX Labs [View article]

    We obviously believe the odds of this trade/investment working out are better than not. You obviously don't. That's ok with me. Let's both move on.

    Sep 16 12:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Animal Spirits Alive At IDEXX Labs [View article]
    Hi Walter.

    I did not imply that IDXX did or should move precisely the same percentage as the market today. I'm not surprised IDXX moved more than the market on a down day like today. It moved more than the market on the way up as well over the past year. And as I fully relay in the article, it has a high valuation at this point. Even so, I'm surprised at your alarm about one session's difference in percentage movement

    I also relayed that there is a link to explain the "opting in" transactions. I can't make you read it, or appreciate the studies that show that these transactions are useful to consider. If you disagree with their usefulness, I'm not offended. Hopefully you're not offended by the time, experience, and investment we've made to discover and present something new to investors who want to do more with insider data than the commodity data feeds allow them.

    Finally, I've explained why we are in IDXX now, and the circumstances that may cause us to exit it in short order for a loss. But I'll offer again that this stock does not seem to be the right one for you. That's fine by me and I hope it's fine by you. We should probably both move on at this point.


    Jonathan Moreland
    Dir of Research
    Sep 15 08:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Animal Spirits Alive At IDEXX Labs [View article]
    Hi Walter

    It certainly is uncomfortable seeing a new trade testing our mental stop so quickly. But then, today's market (9/15) isn't treating much well. IDXX is absolutely wrestling with that 200-day MA, and if the market continues down, IDXX could breach it definitively--and we could indeed be out of IDXX quickly. For our purposes, it would have to close below $120 on good volume. Right now, as negative as today's session is for IDXX, it looks like fairly normal volume and predictable weakness with the indices.

    It's always difficult to buy into stocks when they are in this precarious technical state--just like it's difficult to commit any new money to any stock when the indices in general sell down to what has been solid technical support--which has been the case many times this year. You never know when that historical support is finally not going to be support--and all heck breaks loose. Hindsight is the only thing that shows that these times were either good buying opportunities, or the last chance to get out.

    Reasonable minds may differ on the risk of entering any stock right now. We are absolutely not perma-bulls, but the use of macro insider data trends have kept us leaning heavily long--and have since the fall of 2011 despite the many worries in the market. Our underlying market view gives us courage to put a stock like IDXX, which is itself on the edge of technical support, into our well-balanced portfolio of stocks, some of which are in strong uptrends, and others of which we bought in (with insiders) after they plunged to what look to us like technical bottoms.

    If you have a negative market view, IDXX is probably not the stock for your portfolio right now. Heck, it IDXX fails our technical test for stock-specific or secular risk reasons, it won't be the stock for our portfolio either. We're just playing the odds right now as we see them, and willing to admit when we are wrong, or so early as to be wrong. But then, that's our view with every stock we buy into whatever the market looks like.

    As for the insider activity, we supplied a link to the insider history on our website in the article. You have to include the "OB" transactions to get to the $1.8 mm total. Click the "opting in" link in the article if you need to read more about those accumulation types.

    But I am embarrassed to have misstated the time frame by two days. Chairman Ayes' first OB transaction in this buying luster was on 7/30. So not all the buying was in August.

    As always, all opinions are just our $0.02.

    Jonathan Moreland
    Dir of Research
    Sep 15 02:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Daily Round Up 8/29/14: Prospect Capital, THL Credit, Kindred Biosciences, Select Medical [View article]
    Hi Foxfire.

    This suggestion makes perfect sense, and as you've probably seen after clicking a link in the tables, there is a "Delta % Owned" column in each record of the insider output on our website.

    We can program the inclusion of that column in the tables of these articles fairly easily. But we do have to pick and choose which elements to include. We don't get much width for these tables after the SA publishing system gets done reformatting them, and we can't control the font size to squeeze more columns in.

    But one more column may be possible. Let's see if we get any other new column suggestions to consider as well.

    For what it's worth, we wanted to include columns with our green and red significance indicators in the table, along with the Rating Date of the signal. Theoretically, if we were able to get these visuals in place (which look like sideways streetlights in the Premium output of our website), we wouldn't even need to list the stocks above the tables in their respective "significance" categories. It would be obvious just by looking at the tables (and, perhaps, we would not have drawn the original ire of RichJoy & Skater1).

    But then, if we only had tables with all the info apparent in them, these daily articles would not qualify as "articles" at all. Though we may argue that all of the R&D, backtesting, and subsequent conclusions relayed by our visual Ratings Indicators are better than a paragraph of verbiage, there are rules to play by that we cannot change. And, in any case, the publishing system of SA didn't seem to like the numerous images in the tables that our Ratings Indicators need to be displayed.

    Thanks for your input. We'll see if we can get your desired Delta % Owned column in the table so you don't have to click to see it on the site.

    Jonathan Moreland
    Dir. of Research
    Sep 8 12:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Daily Round Up 8/29/14: Prospect Capital, THL Credit, Kindred Biosciences, Select Medical [View article]
    Hi Rich.

    Sorry to take so long to get back. We actually just Instablogged our followers to try and get more feedback on this string. We'll see what happens.

    It's certainly impressive for anyone to garner 22,000 followers on SA. We can only hope to attract that much interest. We are committed to increasing the quality of insider-related content on SA, and intend on adding insider screen articles and stock-specific insider pieces to our article stream. That'll be a start to broadening our reach, and educational comments will inevitably be a part of these larger articles as well.

    Actually, I wonder if I could syndicate some of my old book on SA? I'll have to check into if that could ruffle feathers elsewhere, and if that would be considered an educational "article" or just an Instablog post. We couldn't afford the latter. I do have a new book underway, however, so perhaps it wouldn't be an issue. Worth investigating at the least.

    Thanks again for your feedback, and I'm sure you won't be shy in the future.

    Jonathan Moreland
    Dir. of Research
    Sep 8 12:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Daily Round Up 8/29/14: Prospect Capital, THL Credit, Kindred Biosciences, Select Medical [View article]
    Hi RichJoy & Skater1.

    I’m sorry you don’t appreciate the value of our Daily Round Ups. Do you have suggestions on how we can improve these daily columns? If any other commentators have ideas, feel free to add you voice as well. We’re all ears. We’ll be putting more stock-specific articles on the site again soon, but have been trying to get our daily offering right beforehand.

    Please keep the following background in mind when you answer with suggestions.

    We’ve spent years of time and R&D expenditures to program our decades of experience analyzing Form 4s into our value-added insider data, Filer Statistics, and resultant Company Ratings. It has taken an awful lot of effort to boil all that noisy, confusing insider data down to a simple Rating.

    Fortunately, the investment has paid off. Our Company Ratings have been independently validated as adding alpha, as per an uncompensated white paper produced by Lucena Research available on our website. And—yes--investment advisors, hedge fund managers, and other investment professionals have deemed our products worthwhile enough to shell out $500 to $1,500 for on an annual basis. No apologies there. We have to eat too. And we’re still cheaper than our competitors in that market.

    So why do we produce these columns for SA? Ironically, they originated from our dismay about the supposedly insider-oriented articles already on the site. The comments RichJoy made about our articles are what we thought about most of the other insider offerings that literally litter the Internet. We noticed that many of the insider articles were template copy and paste things that took a stock with a large dollar value of insider activity, then added canned passages copied in about what the company did, with a smattering of canned fundamentals copied in as well. There is no actual analysis of the insider data, but the implication is that the activity is significant since it was chosen for the article.

    Those types of “insider” articles hurt all of us actually in the business of insider analysis. Because when enough of these faux “insider” stocks don’t perform as expected, investors can get turned off to the approach in general.

    So to get our voice out there, we worked with SA editors to put our programming and experience into a daily article that is intended to increase the quality of insider analysis on the site. We take the Top 10 Purchases and Sales by dollar value, and relay our Ratings conclusion for each of them. Most turn out to be “Insignificant” according to our system, highlighting our main educational intent of showing that high dollar values of insider transactions do not automatically equate with significance.

    Then again, there are usually one or more “Significant” Ratings in each article. These are the stocks that we suggest investors focus on if they are looking for a new investment. The way we use our Ratings is as a first screen to determine where we focus our finite research time. And only if the stock meets our fundamental, technical, and other criteria do we pull the trigger.

    And I’d argue that all those “Insignificant” Ratings are hardly useless. They relay that you should probably not waste your time looking deeper into these stocks—especially if there is a peer that has “Significant” insider activity. Telling investors where not to waste their time saves them time, and increases their odds of success.

    A couple last points: that verbiage about the stocks on the tables not being “buy and sell recommendations” is our lawyers speaking. We have a related RIA firm, and need to put that in there.

    And the only links in the article are to the free stuff on our website. There is no sales pitch to our subscription products, and, frankly, SA readers are not likely even the target audience for our paid-for products. These articles are, however, a “thinly veiled” attempt to try and get investors to think of insider analysis as a real discipline, and to provide a window into the best free insider stuff we know of on the web. If you know of better, please let us know.

    Jonathan Moreland
    Director of Research
    Sep 1 08:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Insiders Are (Finally) Buying Clean Energy [View article]
    Hi Cool & Happyjoe.

    Didn't intend this to be a hatchet job. I do point out that the insider profile is finally bullish. But I also have to point out the finer points of the insider history that make the bullish insider rating weaker than many others we've seen lately. That's owed to the cold, hard statistics of the insiders' past returns--the details of which we happen to generate more of than other insider websites.

    It seems any disagreement we have on whether to buy CLNE right here and now comes down to differing opinions of the firm's fundamentals and the timing of a potential turnaround. Reasonable minds can differ there.

    But after years of not even needing to consider CLNE when I set out to invest in the fabulous trend of American energy independence (because of the insider selling), at least the stock is now on my radar. I'm very interested to see how next quarter's financials come out.

    I'd love to see CLNE's business model pan out for all the reasons I think the U.S. should take better advantage of its resources. It's just been so disappointing for so long...with the lack of support from the U.S. Congress to incentivize use of natural gas in vehicles not CLNE's fault.
    Mar 11 04:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Playing Momentum With Insiders [View article]
    Yeah, this is tougher to read than the tables in our previous stories. Hmmmm. I believe it's due to this table having more entries.

    I can still make it out even so, but I just right clicked the image and pasted in a Word file with no margins. The table takes up a normal page (as intended) this way.

    We'll take table length into consideration in future articles so this annoying extra step isn't necessary for some of you. Seems a shame to pare down this table now, though. We'll leave it as is, and hope this instruction helps those who need it.
    May 16 01:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Insiders Opting In [View article]
    Hi Alerts.

    I have to agree with you. CLMS demotion underway!

    May 9 07:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Insiders Opting In [View article]
    Hi HP.

    Don't lump all insider services together. I headlined the February 8, 2013 issue of our InsiderInsights Newlsetter with an editorial titled: "Ratio Wise, Dollar Foolish".

    It began:
    "The usual suspects have been generating alarmist stories over the past week about how a surge in insider selling is indicating that the market is set for a big pullback. These stories are based on dollar-value ratios of insiders buying and selling, and there is the possibility they could turn out to be prescient. More likely, however, is that going to cash right now because of these stories will be a mistake."

    After a thousand or so words backing up that assertion, I concluded:
    "we remain fully invested instead of in “Chicken Little” mode."

    I've been analyzing the behavioral data stream that is insider data for over 25 years, and supply data and independent research to hedge funds, institutional investors, brokers, and the like. Individual investors depending on only free sources of insider analysis will always be at a disadvantage.

    To a great extent, the democratization of investment advice has led to its mediocratization. That is particularly true with insider analysis. We're trying to raise the bar on Seeking Alpha. But we're only repurposing a fraction of what our paying clients get. We can't afford to give more away because it It takes real time, money, and experience to both program our value-added data feed, and mine it for investment intelligence.

    Your opinion that "This is totally meaningless data" tells me that you have been relying on only the free insider sources that (quite literally) litter the Internet.

    Academic studies, the experience of professional investors, our own track record--and just plain common sense--should tell you that analyzing the behavior of corporate executives relays valuable investment intelligence. But it takes real work.

    No self-respecting growth investor would blindly throw money in any stock with 100% EPS growth in its latest quarter. Was that growth $1 to $2, or 1 cent to 2 cents? It matters. And what of the quality of the earnings? What do the footnotes on the income statement and balance sheet indicate?

    The Form 4s insider report their trades on also have footnotes--which our computers scour in real time as we harvest the data. Our scoring paradigms also rate the quality of an insiders track record in more detail than the mere average return as well. But even after all that value add, we still roll up our sleeves and look at the histories with our own eyes.

    The end result of all our insider analysis is that we kept our paying clients way long starting last November up until now. We're remain in only 5% in cash as I write, while being wary of the many forces that could yet upset this latest bull run.

    We make it look easy. But it isn't. And while the conclusions we form from our top-down and bottom-up analysis of insider data isn't always right (hey, who is), the data itself is far from "meaningless".

    As always, just my $0.02.

    Jonathan Moreland
    Director of Research
    May 8 11:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Insiders Opting In [View article]
    Actually Tony, I hate to sound promotional, but our own site has all the value added free and subscription-based insider data and independent research you could want.

    I've never heard of the site Turner suggests. Room for everybody I guess, but I'll bet they don't go into the transactional detail we do to be able to generate ideas as in this Opting In story.

    Anybody can parse the XML from the SEC's feed these days. We focus on adding value to it for investors. There is so much noise in the data. Either you take the time to research the transactions yourself, or you pay a reasonable bit of money to have a service like ours do it for you.

    But check out our Free Insider Data at if money is an issue. The data is real-time, and we've tried to make the output of our ticker searches and Top 20 screens as useful as possible at a glance.

    As always, just my $0.02.

    Jonathan Moreland
    Director of Research
    May 8 10:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Taking Some Profits In Celsion [View article]

    With a potentially stock-moving event imminent, I would be a bad fiduciary for my clients to handcuff myself to promise not to trade within the next 72 hours. If there’s a spike, I may have to trim holdings as prudent portfolio management insists. If there’s a plunge, I may choose to take the loss or try a short-term trade depending on the news. Such actions follow naturally from what we said in the article itself.

    But your question seems to assume that we could—or think we could—move a market with our opinion, and that we would try to use such immense power to get a better entry or exit point. We have no such pretense even if you do.

    For example, the sentiment in yesterday’s CLSN article was voiced in our InsiderInsights Newsletter over two weeks ago, and on a TV appearance over one week ago. We also updated CLSN often in our InsiderInsights service last fall discussing when taking profits would be prudent. Our decision to do so was made and fist voiced on January 4th. That hasn’t stopped CLSN trading up a bit since then. And thank goodness it didn’t. We are still long the stock. We want it to go up.

    But let me finish by adding that you are expecting an awful lot from people whose free articles you read, if you expect that hoop to be jumped through by any SA contributor—especially a professional contributor. Even without CLSN’s imminent threat of volatility, I could never allow our content to check a box saying we won’t trade a position in the following three days. Our fiduciary duty is to paying clients, not readers of the small subset of free content from InsiderInsights we allow on the Internet.

    If that seems harsh, so be it. I can’t respond otherwise. I further can't see how us checking that box would make our opinions any more or less valid or useful, and any comfort you feel from reading articles from authors who do check that box is likely unwarranted.

    Jonathan Moreland
    Director of Research
    Insider Asset Management llc
    Jan 17 10:41 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Taking Some Profits In Celsion [View article]
    This is just ridiculous. Did you even read our article? Our article was focused on prudent risk management, and, in the end, positive on the stock from here.

    But thank you for reminding me why I don't allow our subscription InsiderInsights content to be down streamed on SA very much. The good is far outweighed by the bad when anonymous guys like yourself have too much time and too little thought behind your posts.

    Jonathan Moreland
    Director of Research
    Jan 16 03:19 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment