Insider Buying: 7 CEO Buys of More Than $100,000 in the Past Week

by: The Keating Letter

I’m excited about this week’s edition of significant CEO buys, because I hold a large position in one of the stocks listed. HCC Holdings (NYSE:HCC-OLD) is one of my favorites, and has been trading at a historically low P/B ratio for some time despite its high stock price. It’s a specialty insurer that I wrote about in late January. Shares trade at a similar price now as they did then. More details are below.

If you’re a regular follower of my insider buying articles, you know that I prefer to focus on CEO and CFO buying. Each week, I bring you large purchases from each. I focus on these insiders because of what should be their more intimate knowledge of the company and potential for some sort of company catalyst or stock mispricing that directors may not know about. As always, use this list as a starting point for research.

Here are the seven stocks that had CEO insider purchases of at least $100,000 in the past week:

Fifth Street Finance (FSC): CEO Leonard Tennenbaum bought 10,000 shares of company stock on June 14 for a total purchase of $116,700. He currently owns more than 1.5 million shares. Fifth Street Finance lends money to and invests in small and medium-sized companies along with private equity firms. Shares currently yield nearly 11%. I wasn’t aware of Fifth Street Finance, but after Tennebaum’s purchase I noticed that David Einhorn, who is one of my favorite hedge fund managers, owns about 3% of the company’s outstanding shares. He’s been an owner for years, and clearly is a fan. This company certainly deserves more research, even though Tennebaum’s latest purchase is small compared to his net worth.

Delphi Financial Group (NYSE:DFG): Delphi is a $1.5 billion market cap employee benefits provider. Chairman and CEO Robert Rosenkranz made a very large purchase of company shares on June 13 and 14. In total, he bought $1.36 million worth of stock. After this purchase, Rosenkranz owns 250,000 shares. Sandler O’Neill recently upgraded Delphi to buy and shares have risen because of that. However, the forward P/E is still below 7 and the dividend yield gives investors another 1.8%.

HCC Holdings (HCC-OLD): CEO John Molbeck bought about $313,000 worth of shares on June 13 when he bought 10,000 shares. He currently owns about 246,000 shares. Despite the fact that HCC is near its 52 week highs, shares are still very cheap. Over the last ten years, its typical P/B is 2.2. Right now, it is 1.1. I think it has tremendous room to run.

Overseas Shipholding Group (NYSE:OSG): It appears that insiders at OSG made a concerted effort to show investors that they are bullish on the company. Five insiders made significant purchases since June 3. In that group, CEO Morten Arntzen bought about $105,000 worth of shares on June 15 after previously buying about $84,000 on June 8. OSG owns oil tankers and operates throughout the world.

American Capital (NASDAQ:ACAS): American Capital is a John Paulson held stock that primarily invests in debt issued through private equity buyouts. Paulson owns more than 12% of the outstanding shares and bought in Q2 2010 after shares were crushed during the financial crises. CEO Malon Wilkus bought just under $102,000 worth of shares on June 13.

Western Alliance Bancorp (NYSE:WAL): CEO Robert Sarver spent $131,200 on company shares on June 10. Sarver, who owns the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, currently holds nearly 3 million shares. Western Alliance is a $560 million market cap bank that operates Nevada, Arizona, California, and Colorado. Shares currently trade at a P/B of 1.2, although book value has been shrinking over the past four years.

MF Global (MF): MF Global is the Jon Corzine led broker-dealer. Corzine bought $247,600 worth of shares on June 11, bringing his total ownership up to about 388,000 shares. Last month, the company announced a $0.31 per share loss for Q4 and $1 loss for the year. Yearly revenue was up on the year and beat analyst expectations. A former Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) head, New Jersey governor and senator, Corzine is trying to build MF Global into a powerhouse. The unpredictability of it keeps me away from owning shares, but Corzine’s star power has attracted talent and investment to the firm.

Disclosure: I am long HCC-OLD.