22 CEO Buys of at Least $100,000 in the Past Week

by: The Keating Letter

If you’ve followed the financial news over the last 10 days, you’ve noticed a multitude of stories about a high level of insider buying. That’s reflected in this article. This is the most number of companies with CEO buys of over $100,000 that I’ve written, by far. This is an indication to me that the recent sell-off was overdone. Insiders, and CEOs in particular, are extremely bullish about their own companies' prospects. Let’s get to the list.

Solar Senior Capital (NASDAQ:SUNS) is a business development company that invests in middle market companies. CEO Michael Gross bought 20,250 shares between August 10 and August 12. The average purchase price was $15.44. I had previously highlighted Gross’s participation in Solar Senior’s March IPO.

Hillenbrand (HI): CEO Kenneth Camp bought 6,000 shares on August 11 at $18.84. Hillenbrand is a $1.2 billion market cap company that has two businesses. Through the Batesville subsidiary it manufactures and sells caskets and urns. Through its K-Tron International subsidiary it manufactures and sells material handling equipment. The company yields 4%.

Chemtura (NYSE:CHMT) is a specialty chemical company. CEO Craig Rogerson was joined by four other insiders in buying company shares over the past week. Rogerson bought 12,000 shares on August 9 and August 10 at an average price of $12.72. Shares are already 10% higher than Rogerson’s purchase price.

Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS) is a uniform supply company based out of Cincinnati but operating in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. CEO Scott Farmer bought 650,000 shares between August 9 and August 11. His average purchase price was $27.46.

Helix Energy Solutions (NYSE:HLX): CEO Owen Kratz has made a few purchases over the last few months. More recently, he bought nearly 70,000 shares on August 10 at prices between $14.10 and $14.95. The purchases totaled nearly $1 million. Helix is a $1.7 billion market cap offshore energy service provider.

Cleco Corp (NYSE:CNL): CEO Bruce Williamson bought just under $700,000 of company stock on August 9. Williamson’s purchase price was $31.73. Cleco is a Louisiana-based electric company which currently yields 3.4%.

Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE:HE) is another great dividend play. Its current payout is 5.5%. Hawaiian Electric Industries supplies power to 95% of Hawaii’s people, and also runs one of Hawaii’s largest banks, American Savings Bank. Richard Wacker is the president and CEO of American Savings Bank. He’s one of three company CEOs, the others leading Hawaiian Electric Company and Hawaiian Electric Industries. Wacker bought 12,000 shares on August 8 at $22 per share. The total transaction was $264,000. Wacker also had made a purchase back in March.

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK): CEO Aubrey McClendon bought shares in March as well. He went back to the well on August 9. McClendon bought 8,600 shares at an average purchase price of $29 per share. Let’s hope that he didn’t make these purchases on margin. He’s not back up to owning 3 million shares.

ExamWorks Group (NYSE:EXAM) provides independent medical examinations and related services to insurers, law firms, and others. The company has announced it's going to be buying back $20 million of outstanding shares -- not bad considering its market cap is $485 million. CEO James Price likes the plan. He bought 38,200 shares on August 9 at an average price of $13.06 per share. Price was joined by three other insiders making recent purchases.

CoreSite Realty (NYSE:COR) is a REIT focusing on the ownership and management of data centers. CEO Thomas Ray bought 10,000 shares on August 8 at an average price of $15.04. Ray owns 113,375 shares. He was joined by two other insiders making recent purchases.

Sabra HealthCare (NASDAQ:SBRA) is another REIT. As you can tell by the name, it focuses on the healthcare sector. Seven insiders made recent purchases including CEO Richard Matros. Matros bought 8,800 shares on August 8 at an average purchase price of $11.36.

General Moly (NYSEMKT:GMO): CEO Bruce Hansen spent about $108,000 buying company shares on August 9. He bought 30,000 shares at an average purchase price of $3.62. General Moly is a rare earth mining company based in the U.S. Its focus is on mining molybdenum. Its market cap is $358 million.

Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU): This railroad operator has had quite a run-up since its 2009 lows. Despite hitting 52-week highs three weeks ago, shares are still moderately priced. CEO David Starling bought 5,000 shares on August 9 at an average purchase price of $50.61. Starling owns about 105,000 shares in total.

Dominion Resources (NYSE:D): Four insiders have recently bought shares in Dominion resources. CEO Thomas Farrell made buys of 2,500 shares each on August 8 and August 9. The total transaction was worth $232,916. Dominion is an electric company primarily serving the east coast. It sports a market cap of $27 billion and a dividend yield of 4.1%.

Knight Trading Group (NYSE:KCG): CEO Thomas Joyce bought 10,000 shares on August 8 of this financial services firm at an average price of $11.18. This stock was added to Goldman Sachs' conviction buy list last Thursday.

Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG): CEO Robert Hugin joined his CFO by buying company shares. Hugin bought 10,000 shares on August 8 at $52.70 per share. This transaction totaled $527,000. Shares are down about 10% over the past month for this $25 billion market cap biotech company.

MPG Office Trust (NYSE:MPG-OLD): CEO David Weinstein bought 37,950 shares between August 4 and August 8. The average purchase price was $2.84 and the transaction totaled about $108,000. MPG Office Trust is a California-based REIT focusing on Class A office properties in southern California. Large investor David Tepper owns about 10% of the company.

Eagle Bancorp (NASDAQ:EGBN): Four insiders recently purchased shares of Eagle Bancorp. CEO Ronald Paul led the way by buying 8,360 shares at an average purchase price of $11.97. Eagle Bancorp is in the process of buying Alliance Bankshares (NASDAQ:ABVA) in a complicated all-stock deal.

General Growth Properties (NYSE:GGP): CEO Sandeep Mathrani made a large purchase on August 5. Mathrani bought 60,615 shares at an average purchase price of $14.13. The total transaction was about $857,000. In June, I noted that Bill Ackman counted General Growth Properties as one of his largest holdings.

Quidel Corp. (NASDAQ:QDEL): Three insiders bought company shares recently, including CEO Douglas Bryant. Bryant bought 20,000 shares at an average purchase price of $13.89. He had also bought shares in May and June of this year. Quidel makes medical diagnostic testing equipment.

Thomas Properties Group (NYSE:TPGI) is a $98 million market cap company that owns and manages a wide variety of properties throughout the U.S. CEO James Thomas bought 136,200 shares between August 5 and August 9. The total transaction was about $350,000.

Chesapeake Lodging Trust (NYSE:CHSP) shares are near 52-week lows. Six insiders took advantage of recent share price weakness by buying company shares. CEO James Francis bought 8,000 shares on August 4 at an average purchase price of $15.81. Chesapeake Lodging is a $425 million market cap REIT focusing on hotels. Shares yield 6%.

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

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