Insider Buys and Sells: ChinaCast Education, Intrepid Potash

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Includes: BKNG, CAST, CPX, D, ECHO, FSLR, HSH, IPI, TPX, WPC
by: Asif Suria

Welcome to edition forty two of Insider Weekends. Insider buying dropped sharply with insiders purchasing $61.38 million of their stock last week when compared to $204.8 million in the week prior. Selling also dropped with insiders selling $455.94 million worth of stock when compared to $1.06 billion in the week prior.

Sell/Buy Ratio:

The insider Sell/Buy ratio is calculated by dividing the total insider sales in a given week by total insider purchases that week. The adjusted ratio for last week increased to 7.43. In other words, insiders sold more than 7 times as much stock as they purchased. The Sell/Buy ratio this week compares unfavorably with the week prior when the ratio stood at 5.2. We are calculating an adjusted ratio by removing transactions by funds and companies and trying as best as possible only to retain information about insiders and 10% owners who are not funds or companies.

Insider Sell Buy Ratio March 25, 2011

Insider Sell Buy Ratio March 25, 2011

Note: As mentioned in the first post in this series Introduction to Insider Weekends, certain industries have their preferred metrics such as same store sales for retailers, funds from operations (FFO) for REITs and revenue per available room (RevPAR) for hotels that provide a better basis for comparison than simple valuation metrics. However metrics like Price/Earnings, Price/Sales and Enterprise Value/EBITDA included below should provide a good starting point for analyzing the majority of stocks.

Notable Insider Buys:

1. ChinaCast Education Corporation (CAST): $6.4

Director Ned L. Sherwood acquired 2,227,127 shares of this for-profit education and e-learning provider, paying $6.08 per share for a total amount of $13.54 million.

These shares were acquired indirectly through ZS EDU L.P.

Small cap Chinese stocks, especially those that became public through reverse mergers, have been under a lot of pressure following the public battle between bulls and bears over China MediaExpress (CCME) where the bears emerged as winners.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for ChinaCast Education here.

P/E: 28.7 Forward P/E: 9.14 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 4.15 Price/Book: 1.22 EV/EBITDA: N/A
Market Cap: $318.58M Avg. Daily Volume: N/A 52 Week Range: $0 – $0

2. Sara Lee Corp. (SLE): $17.84

Executive Chairman Jan Bennink acquired 128,400 shares of this packaged food products company, paying $16.95 per share for a total amount of $2.18 million. Mr. Bennink increased his stake by 83.01% to 283,085 shares with this purchase.

Sara Lee made our list exactly a month ago on account of a large insider sale by a director. We wrote on February 22, 2011:

“It is interesting to see such a large sale ahead of the company’s plan to spin-off its North American retail and foodservice business into a new company that will retain the Sara Lee name. A separate company will be created to manage the beverage and bakery products business. This is the second time in two weeks Mr. Ubben has sold stock. The CFO also sold shares last week.”

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Sara Lee here.

P/E: 12.83 Forward P/E: 16.67 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 1.03 Price/Book: 5.44 EV/EBITDA: 8.52
Market Cap: $11.10B Avg. Daily Volume: 9,952,330 52 Week Range: $12.83 – $20.26

3. Dominion Resources, Inc. (D): $44.54

Shares of this electric utility were acquired by 2 insiders:

  • Director Helen E. Dragas acquired 14,584 shares, paying $44.57 per share for a total amount of $650,000.
  • Director William P. Barr acquired 2,244 shares, paying $44.57 per share for a total amount of $100,014. Mr. Barr increased his stake by 35.92% to 8,492 shares with this purchase.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Dominion Resources here.

P/E: 9.36 Forward P/E: 13.66 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 1.7 Price/Book: 2.15 EV/EBITDA: 8.61
Market Cap: $25.87B Avg. Daily Volume: 2,621,770 52 Week Range: $38.05 – $46.56

4. W. P. Carey & Co. LLC (WPC): $36.76

Director Charles E. Parente acquired 20,000 shares of this property management company, paying $35.05 per share for a total amount of $700,908. Mr. Parente increased his stake by 82.68% to 44,191 shares with this purchase.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for W. P. Carey & Co here.

P/E: 19.81 Forward P/E: 19.35 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 5.4 Price/Book: 2.36 EV/EBITDA: 13.62
Market Cap: $1.45B Avg. Daily Volume: 56,560 52 Week Range: $26.49 – $38

5. Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (ECHO): $12.25

Director Eric P. Lefkofsky acquired 50,000 shares of this supply chain management services provider, paying $12.26 per share for a total amount of $613,189.

These shares were acquired by Orange Media, LLC, the sole member of which is Mr. Lefkofsky’s wife. Mr. Lefkofsky also picked up 100,000 shares three weeks ago and has purchased shares several times over the last six months even as other insiders have been selling.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Echo Global Logistics here.

P/E: 32.24 Forward P/E: 15.31 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 0.65 Price/Book: 2.61 EV/EBITDA: 14.14
Market Cap: $273.92M Avg. Daily Volume: 115,302 52 Week Range: $9.85 – $16.09

You can view the full list of purchases from this Insider Buying page.

Notable Insider Sales:

1. Intrepid Potash, Inc. (IPI): $34.29

Director Hugh E. Harvey sold 459,729 shares of this fertilizer company for $33.74, generating $15.51 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly by Harvey Operating and Production Company.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Intrepid Potash here.

P/E: 57.15 Forward P/E: 17.86 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 8.01 Price/Book: 3.37 EV/EBITDA: 23.25
Market Cap: $2.58B Avg. Daily Volume: 974,236 52 Week Range: $19.08 – $40.22

2. First Solar, Inc. (FSLR): $150.44

Director Michael J. Ahearn sold 100,000 shares of this solar energy company for $150.06, generating $15 million from the sale.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for First Solar here.

P/E: 19.59 Forward P/E: 13.6 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 5.03 Price/Book: 3.73 EV/EBITDA: 12.96
Market Cap: $12.92B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,759,250 52 Week Range: $100.19 – $175.45

3. Tempur Pedic International Inc. (TPX): $50.16

Shares of this mattress and bedding products company were sold by 3 insiders:

  • Exec VP, Pres Intl Ops David Montgomery sold 80,000 shares for $50.02, generating $4 million from the sale. 50,000 of these shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
  • Executive VP & CFO Dale E. Williams sold 75,000 shares for $50.00, generating $3.75 million from the sale. These shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
  • EVP, Global Operations Matthew Clift sold 60,000 shares for $49.99, generating $3 million from the sale. These shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Tempur Pedic International here.

P/E: 23.22 Forward P/E: 15.97 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 3.11 Price/Book: 27.2 EV/EBITDA: 13.31
Market Cap: $3.45B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,008,490 52 Week Range: $25.56 – $50.44

4. Priceline.com Incorporated (PCLN): $487

Shares of this online travel company were sold by 2 insiders:

  • COO, Booking.com BV Kees Koolen sold 15,000 shares for $446.60, generating $6.7 million from the sale.
  • Vice Chairman Robert J. Mylod sold 3,000 shares for $455.27, generating $1.37 million from the sale.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for priceline.com here.

P/E: 47.05 Forward P/E: 20.56 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 7.58 Price/Book: 12.9 EV/EBITDA: 25.9
Market Cap: $23.94B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,129,740 52 Week Range: $173.32 – $490.39

5. Complete Production Services, Inc. (CPX): $31.01

VP, Sec. and Gen. Counsel Jf Maroney sold 225,640 shares of this oil & gas equipment & services company for $30.00, generating $6.77 million from the sale.

You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Complete Production Services here.

P/E: 28.71 Forward P/E: 10.96 Industry P/E: N/A
P/S: 1.49 Price/Book: 2.85 EV/EBITDA: 7.6
Market Cap: $2.40B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,944,730 52 Week Range: $10.83 – $32.72

You can view the full list of sales from this Insider Sales page.