Insider Weekends - Edition 313

Insider buying declined last week with insiders buying $81.74 million of stock compared to $136.88 million in the week prior. Selling also decreased with insiders selling $1.15 billion of stock last week compared to $1.28 billion in the week prior.

One of the insider purchases that has not been making our list for the last two weeks because it is a purchase by a 10% owner was the purchase of Land’s End (LE) by Eddie Lampert. For those of you who have been following the train wreck called Sears Holdings (SHLD), you would recollect that Land’s End was one of several companies spun out of Sears over the last few years. If you haven’t followed the Sears saga, Business Insider covers it in great detail in an article published last week called Sears’ obsession with Wall Street is killing the retailer for good.

Some deep value investors including Bruce Berkowitz of Fairholme Capital Management believe there is a lot of value in Sears as you can see from Fairholme’s purchases of Sears but the vast majority of investors have lost confidence in Mr. Lampert’s ability to turn around the company. It is interesting that Mr. Lampert continues to buy shares of both Land’s End and Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores (SHOS) after their spin-offs from Sears. It is possible that Mr. Berkowitz is doing the same but doesn’t have to report those additional purchases because Fairholme is not a 10% owner in those companies. The possibility that this trio of companies represent bargains with tremendous potential certainly exists but thus far it has been challenging for investors who are not as close to the companies as Mr. Lampert to see that potential.

Sell/Buy Ratio: The insider Sell/Buy ratio is calculated by dividing the total insider sales in a given week by total insider purchases that week. The adjusted ratio for last week went up to 14.06. In other words, insiders sold more than 14 times as much stock as they purchased. The Sell/Buy ratio this week compares unfavorably with the prior week, when the ratio stood at 9.35. We are calculating an adjusted ratio by removing transactions by funds and companies and trying as best as possible only to retain information about insiders and 10% owners who are not funds or companies.

Insider Sell Buy Ratio June 17, 2016

Insider Sell Buy Ratio June 17, 2016

Note: As mentioned in the first post in this series, certain industries have their preferred metrics such as same store sales for retailers, funds from operations (FFO) for REITs and revenue per available room (RevPAR) for hotels that provide a better basis for comparison than simple valuation metrics. However metrics like Price/Earnings, Price/Sales and Enterprise Value/EBITDA included below should provide a good starting point for analyzing the majority of stocks.

Notable Insider Buys:

1. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX): $22.04

Chairman & CEO Joseph C. Papa acquired 202,000 shares of this Canadian pharmaceutical company, paying $24.48 per share for a total amount of $4.94 million. Mr. Papa increased his stake by 9.02% to 2,442,199 shares with this purchase.

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Disclosure: Clients of Signal Partners, LLC  and I may have positions in ...

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