4 Recent CFO Insider Buys of at Least $50,000

Includes: KOG, RENT, TRST
by: The Keating Letter

This week’s edition of the CFO insider buy list features four stocks with CFO buys of at least $50,000. Two of these stocks also had recent CEO buys and I highlighted them in my recent CEO article.

I like to look at CFO and CEO insider purchases to generate research ideas. Management purchases are better than director purchases since management is closer to the day to day activity of the company. They should have a better idea of coming catalysts or risks. Be careful, though, because insiders can fall prey to the same emotions as individual investors. Use lists like this as a starting point for research, not an end point.

Below are four stocks where the CFO made recent insider buys of at least $50,000.

Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE:KOG): CFO James Henderson bought 10,000 company shares on June 30 at $5.75 per share making the total transaction $57,500. This is Henderson’s second recent significant transaction. He also bought about $100,000 worth of company shares on June 7. His most recent buy was 33 cents cheaper than the June 7 buy, although the stock price is now more than 11%. The company is a Denver-based play on the Bakken Shale. It looks to be a big revenue and profit gainer in 2011 and sports a $1.2 billion market cap.

TrustCo Bank Corp. NY (NASDAQ:TRST): TrustCo Bank had a stock offering on July 6, raising $68.1 million. CFO Robert Cushing joined 12 other insiders by buying shares, including the CEO, who I highlighted in the CEO story linked above. Cushing spent nearly $100,000 at the offering price of $4.60. Shares now trade about 7% higher. This is a well-run $380 million market cap bank that remained profitable throughout the banking crisis. It has a P/E of 13, P/B of 1.5 and a dividend yield of 5.3%

State Investors Bancorp (SIBC): State Investors Bancorp is a small Louisiana-based bank whose stock began trading on July 7. The bank issued 2.9 million shares of common stock at $10. CFO Daniel McGowan bought 20,200 shares for a total of $202,000. McGowan was joined by nine other insiders. At the end of 2010, State Investors Bank had $209 million in assets. Shares started trading on the open market at $11.40 and are now near $12. Be careful here, though. Volume is light.

Rentrak (NASDAQ:RENT): Rentrak is a media measurement and research company based in Portland, OR and founded in 1977. CFO David Chemerow bought 5,500 shares on June 29 for $98,200. Chemerow was joined by CEO Bill Livek and five other insiders who have bought shares since early June. Shares now trade for about 4% more than when Chemerow bought them. Rentrak announced disappointing earnings on June 9 with a slight Q4 loss and decreased revenue, but they seem to be adding clients and Livek is optimistic. All of the insider purchases show that Rentrak’s leadership is in agreement.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.