3 Stocks With Recent CEO Buys of at Least $250K

Includes: BTH, IROQ, TDY
by: The Keating Letter

This week’s edition of CEO insider buys is shorter than most, only containing three stocks. One just began trading in the past 10 days. The smallest of these buys was $250,000. Other than these three companies, there were not any other CEO purchases higher than $50,000.

I like to look at CEO and CFO insider buys to see if any of the stocks deserve a closer look. Last week there was an interesting company, Kingold Jewelry (NASDAQ:KGJI), that I’m currently looking at closer because of a large purchase made by its CEO and founder. To see last week’s CEO buy list, please click here. You can also find last week’s CFO list here.

The CEO and CFO should have a unique insight into the companies they run, which is why I like to follow their purchases. They may know if a catalyst may be coming or if some sort of news was taken by the markets as overly negative. Of course they may also fall prey to the same emotions as other investors, so use lists like these as a starting point for research only.

Below are three stocks with CEO purchases of at least $250,000:

Blyth (NYSE:BTH): Blyth stock jumped to a new 52-week high because of the CEO’s purchase. On July 11 CEO Robert Goergen bought 400,000 shares at $52.29. The total purchase was nearly $21 million. He and his affiliates now own 37% of the outstanding shares. After the announcement of Goergen’s purchase, shares surged higher than $62.

Saj Karsan had a bullish article about Blyth on Seeking Alpha back in February entitled Blyth’s Value Potential. I encourage you to check it out, but keep in mind that the stock traded below $35 in February. Blyth sells candles, home fragrances and home decor products through direct selling, catalog and Internet and wholesale. The only brand I recognize is Sterno, from my days in high school working at a catering company. Sterno makes the heating fuel that we put under pans to keep the food warm. That’s not its primary product, though. The majority of its revenue comes from direct selling. In April the company announced fiscal year 2011 earnings of $3 per share and gave an outlook for 2012 of an adjusted $3.45 and $3.65. Free cash flow will be higher. The company also has about $10 per share of net cash.

Teledyne Technologies (NYSE:TDY): CEO Robert Mehrabian bought shares on July 8 for $444,500. After this transaction he owns more than 166,000 shares directly and through his family’s trust. Teledyne is a $1.8 billion market cap company with these segments: Instrumentation, digital imaging, aerospace and defense electronics, and engineered systems. According to its website, the company serves industrial manufacturers; energy, infrastructure and natural resources companies; and government agencies, airlines and aerospace contractors. Shares trade at a P/E of 14. Noted investor and Forbes author Ken Fisher owns more than 2.5% of the company as of the first quarter of this year.

IF Bancorp (NASDAQ:IROQ): IF Bancorp shares began trading on July 8, 2011, after the mutual-to-stock conversion of Iroquois Federal on July 7. 4,496,500 shares were sold in the subscription offering, which was oversubscribed. As is often the case with these conversions, shares will trade higher than the subscription price and now are at $11.65. CEO Alan Martin joined 11 other insiders by purchasing shares from the offering on July 7 for $10. Martin’s purchase totaled $250,000. You can find more information on the company in its 10-Q here. The bank is well-capitalized, conservatively run, and its non-performing assets are low.

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