Analyzing Wednesday's Noteworthy Insider Buys And Sells

by: GuruFundPicks

Insiders reported that on Wednesday, January the 4th, they bought and sold stock in over 290 separate transactions in over 170 different companies. These transactions have to be reported within two days of the trade, so the transactions occurred sometime after late last week. We culled through these 290 or so insider buys and sells (based on SEC Forms 3, 4, and 5 filings), as part of our daily and weekly coverage of insider trades, and present here the most notable trades reported Wednesday (for more info on how to interpret insider trades, please refer to the end of this article):

Siga Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:SIGA): SIGA is a development-stage bio-defense company, engaged in the development and commercialization of novel products for the prevention and treatment of serious infectious diseases, with an emphasis on products for biological warfare defense. On Wednesday, Director William Bevins filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he purchased 50,000 shares for $0.12 million, a new position in his holdings. Overall, insiders purchased only an additional 101,500 shares during the past year (selling 441,767 shares). SIGA shares have been hammered recently after a Delaware court ruled in September last year in a dispute in favor of its rival PharmAthene (PIP), ruling that SIGA can keep the first $40 million in net profit from sales of the smallpox drug, after which it must hand over 50% of the net profits to PIP for the next ten years.

Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR): KR is one of the largest grocery retail chain operators in the U.S., and it also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. Insiders currently hold 5.6 million or 0.9% of outstanding shares. On Wednesday, two insiders exercised options and sold the resulting total of 49,223 shares for $1.2 million, both under 10b5-1 plans. Of these, SVP Michael Donnelly sold 40,223 shares, and SVP & Treasurer Scott Henderson sold the remaining 9,000 shares. Overall, insiders sold only an additional 14,500 shares in the last three months, all within the last three weeks. KR shares have been in a trading range between $20 and $30 for the last five years while earnings have kept steadily rising during that period, and the stock currently trades at a discount 11 forward P/E and 2.8 P/B compared to the averages of 13.2 and 2.6 for its peers in the supermarket retailer group.

Ventas Inc. (NYSE:VTR): VTR is a publicly-owned real estate investment trust (REIT) that engages in the investment, management, financing and leasing of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, senior housing facilities, medical office buildings, and other healthcare related facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Insiders currently hold 1.9 million or 0.7% of outstanding shares. On Wednesday, Director Douglas Pasquale filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he sold 20,000 shares for $1.1 million, pursuant to a 10b5-1 plan, and ended with 155,783 shares (plus 4,326 shares in indirect holdings). This is in addition to the $3.2 million sale (also under a 10b5-1 plan) by Director Pasquale that we reported just last Wednesday, so that in total insiders at VTR have reported selling 94,908 shares in the last two weeks, which is notable given that insiders sold only a total of 339,068 shares (buying none) in the last twelve months. VTR has been a long-term outperformer, rising over 15-fold since 2000. It currently trades within striking distance of its all-time highs at 14.8 times funds from operations (P/FFO) compared to the 12.4 average for its peers in the equity trust REIT group.

Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS): DIS is a diversified worldwide entertainment company that operates theme parks and resorts, produces filmed entertainment, operates broadcast radio & TV networks, and licenses, publishes and sells toy, books, etc. based on Disney characters. Insiders hold 172.5 million or 9.5% of outstanding shares. On Wednesday, Sr. EVP Alan Braverman filed SEC Form 4 indicating that he exercised options and sold the resulting 60,000 shares for $2.3 million (under a 10b5-1 plan), ending with 240,339 shares (and another 9,141 shares in indirect holdings). Overall, insiders sold only an additional 44,800 shares in the last three months. DIS shares have been strong recently and are approaching their all-time highs, up over 150% from the lows in 2008-09, and they trade at 11-12 forward P/E and 1.9 P/B compared to averages of 11.0 and 1.6 for its peers in the media conglomerate group.

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB): BIIB is engaged in the research, development and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (NYSE:MS), cancer and auto-inflammatory diseases. Insiders hold 1.9 million or 0.8% of outstanding shares. On Wednesday, two insiders sold a total of 24,244 shares for $2.7 million, both under 10b5-1 plans. Of these, CFO Paul Clancy sold the majority of the shares (20,244 shares), and the remaining 4,000 shares acquired by exercising options were sold by Director Nancy Leaming. BIIB is a strong performer, having more than doubled in the last five years, and its shares trade at a discount 18 forward P/E and 4.4 P/B compared to averages of 40.5 and 11.3 for its large-cap growth peers in the biotech group.

On top of these, some additional large insider trades on Wednesday included a $2.2 million sale by EVP David Perlmutter at Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC); a $1.3 million sale by two insiders, EVPs Paul Gallagher and Thomas Klaritch at healthcare REIT HCP Inc. (NYSE:HCP); a $1.5 million sale by insiders, Director David Hoover and EVP Raymond Seabrook at packaging company Ball Corp. (NYSE:BLL); and a $1.2 million sale by CEO Surya Mohapatra at diagnostic testing services company Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX).

Credit: Fundamental data in this article were based on SEC filings, I-Metrix® by Edgar Online®, Zacks Investment Research, Thomson Reuters and The information and data is believed to be accurate, but no guarantees or representations are made.

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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