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Insider Buying

    Insider Weekends – February 27, 2015

    Welcome to edition 245 of Insider Weekends. Insider buying tripled last week with insiders buying $168.17 million of stock compared to $56.56 million in the week prior. Selling on the other hand decreased with insiders selling $1.53 billion of stock last week compared to $1.59 billion in the week prior.

    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 dropped down to 9.12. In other words, insiders sold more than 9 times as much stock as they purchased. The Sell/Buy ratio this week compares favorably with the prior week, when the ratio stood at 28.27. 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 February 27, 2015

    Insider Sell Buy Ratio February 27, 2015

    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. Sprint Corporation (S): $5.12

    President & CEO Raul Marcelo Claure acquired 5,080,000 shares of this telecommunications company, paying $4.92 per share for a total amount of $25 million. Mr. Claure increased his stake by 181.28% to 7,882,330 shares with this purchase.

    This is an unusually large purchase by a non-founder CEO and I had to read through the footnotes of the filing carefully to see if it was a mistake. With nothing in the footnotes indicating that this was a mistake and no amended form 4 filed with the SEC, this looks like a legitimate purchase. Mr. Claure has served on the board of directors of Sprint since January 2014 and took over the role of CEO in August 2014.

    SoftBank, which owns a majority stake in Sprint is also the majority stakeholder in Miami based wireless distributor Brightstar. Mr. Claure founded Brightstar in 1997 and is estimated to have a net worth north of $1 billion following SoftBank’s purchase of a 57% stake in Brightstar for $1.26 billion.

    A balance sheet with more than $31 billion in debt, high cap-ex requirements and a highly competitive business make Sprint a challenging turnaround story. It will be interesting to see if Mr. Claure and SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son can pull off this turnaround.

    In the words of Warren Buffett who just released the 50th annual shareholder letter for Berkshire Hathaway:

    “When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.”

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Sprint Corporation here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: 21.74
    P/S: 0.54 Price/Book: 0.85 EV/EBITDA: 5.99
    Market Cap: $20.26B Avg. Daily Volume: 19,347,200 52 Week Range: $3.79 – $9.76

    2. CARBO Ceramics Inc. (CRR): $36.44

    Director William C. Morris acquired 39,900 shares of this oilfield services technology company, paying $37.96 per share for a total amount of $1.51 million. These shares were purchased indirectly by Mr. Morris’s wife.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for CARBO Ceramics Inc. here.

    P/E: 15.12 Forward P/E: 110.42 Industry P/E: 15.51
    P/S: 1.28 Price/Book: 1.07 EV/EBITDA: 5.4
    Market Cap: $849.02M Avg. Daily Volume: 1,156,320 52 Week Range: $27.97 – $156

    3. Medgenics, Inc. (MDGN): $7.84

    Director Sol J. Barer acquired 150,000 shares of this biotech company, paying $7.44 per share for a total amount of $1.12 million. Mr. Barer increased his stake by 72.46% to 357,000 shares with this purchase.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Medgenics, Inc. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: N/A Price/Book: 6.75 EV/EBITDA: -8.61
    Market Cap: $194.38M Avg. Daily Volume: 141,848 52 Week Range: $3.68 – $8.79

    4. E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DD): $77.85

    Director Edward D. Breen acquired 13,000 shares of this agricultural chemicals company, paying $77.39 per share for a total amount of $1 million.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company here.

    P/E: 19.88 Forward P/E: 16.92 Industry P/E: 19.56
    P/S: 2.02 Price/Book: 5.4 EV/EBITDA: 11.79
    Market Cap: $70.49B Avg. Daily Volume: 3,746,640 52 Week Range: $63.7 – $78.18

    5. MRC Global Inc. (MRC): $12.87

    Shares of this oil & gas equipment company were acquired by 2 insiders:

    • Director H. B. Wehrle III acquired 50,000 shares, paying $12.75 per share for a total amount of $637,500.
    • Director John Anthony Perkins acquired 15,000 shares, paying $12.63 per share for a total amount of $189,450. Mr. Perkins increased his stake by 45.88% to 47,691 shares with this purchase.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for MRC Global Inc. here.

    P/E: 9.19 Forward P/E: 15.51 Industry P/E: 15.51
    P/S: 0.22 Price/Book: 0.94 EV/EBITDA: 6.86
    Market Cap: $1.31B Avg. Daily Volume: 2,652,360 52 Week Range: $10.2 – $29.67

    You can view the full list of purchases from this Insider Buying page.

    Notable Insider Sales:

    1. Graham Holdings (GHC): $986.38

    CEO and COB Donald Graham sold 44,623 shares of this education and media company for $990.11, generating $44.18 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through trusts.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Graham Holdings here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: N/A Price/Book: N/A EV/EBITDA: N/A
    Market Cap: $N/A Avg. Daily Volume: N/A 52 Week Range: $645.93 – $1023.99

    2. Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (RAX): $49.67

    Shares of this server and cloud hosting company were sold by 4 insiders:

    • Director Lew Moorman sold 447,700 shares for $49.68, generating $22.24 million from the sale. 134,000 of these shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale and 47,700 of these shares were sold indirectly through a trust.
    • Director Fred Reichheld sold 25,000 shares for $49.64, generating $1.24 million from the sale.
    • Chief Operating Officer Mark Roenigk sold 17,000 shares for $49.48, generating $841,230 from the sale. 15,000 of these shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
    • Chief Accounting Officer Joseph Saporito sold 345 shares for $51.54, generating $17,781 from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Rackspace Hosting, Inc. here.

    P/E: 64.51 Forward P/E: 41.39 Industry P/E: 19.91
    P/S: 3.9 Price/Book: 6.52 EV/EBITDA: 13.05
    Market Cap: $7.04B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,281,520 52 Week Range: $26.18 – $52.45

    3. Twitter, Inc. (TWTR): $48.08

    Shares of Twitter were sold by 2 insiders:

    • Director Evan Clark Williams sold 467,900 shares for $49.09, generating $22,.97 million from the sale. 467,900 of these shares were sold indirectly through various trusts.
    • VP, Finance and Accounting Off Luca Baratta sold 10,000 shares for $48.90, generating $489,048 from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Twitter, Inc. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: 59.36 Industry P/E: 37.8
    P/S: 22.16 Price/Book: 8.57 EV/EBITDA: -85.4
    Market Cap: $30.26B Avg. Daily Volume: 20,474,700 52 Week Range: $29.51 – $56.09

    Voluntary Disclosure: I hold a long position in Twitter.

    4. Lear Corp. (LEA): $108.92

    Shares of this auto parts company were sold by 9 insiders:

    • President & CEO Matthew Simoncini sold 70,323 shares for $108.32, generating $7.62 million from the sale.
    • EVP, Business Dev & General Counsel Terrence B. Larkin sold 30,355 shares for $108.32, generating $3.29 million from the sale.
    • EVP & President, Seating Raymond E. Scott sold 25,283 shares for $108.32, generating $2.74 million from the sale.
    • Sr. VP and CFO Jeffrey H. Vanneste sold 20,451 shares for $108.32, generating $2.22 million from the sale.
    • SVP Comm, Facilities & Investor Relations Mel Stephens sold 16,913 shares for $108.32, generating $1.83 million from the sale.
    • Sr VP, Human Resources Thomas A. Didonato sold 16,177 shares for $108.32, generating $1.75 million from the sale.
    • Sr. VP & President, EPMS Frank C. Orsini sold 11,995 shares for $108.32, generating $1.29 million from the sale.
    • VP Treasurer & Chief Diversity Officer Shari L. Burgess sold 6,514 shares for $108.32, generating $705,573 from the sale.
    • VP & Corporate Controller Wendy L. Foss sold 6,362 shares for $108.32, generating $689,109 from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Lear Corp. here.

    P/E: 13.23 Forward P/E: 10.02 Industry P/E: 18.96
    P/S: 0.48 Price/Book: 2.88 EV/EBITDA: 6.77
    Market Cap: $8.50B Avg. Daily Volume: 670,898 52 Week Range: $75.05 – $111.77

    5. PPG Industries Inc. (PPG): $235.38

    Shares of this specialty chemicals company were sold by 3 insiders:

    • Chairman and CEO Charles E. Bunch sold 40,000 shares for $235.04, generating $9.4 million from the sale.
    • Sr. VP & Gen. Counsel Glenn E. Bost II sold 19,897 shares for $233.78, generating $4.65 million from the sale. 14,527 of these shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
    • Executive Vice President Viktoras R. Sekmakas sold 19,378 shares for $236.35, generating $4.58 million from the sale. 12,664 of these shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for PPG Industries Inc. here.

    P/E: 15.66 Forward P/E: 18.12 Industry P/E: 19.41
    P/S: 2.09 Price/Book: 6.19 EV/EBITDA: 15.03
    Market Cap: $32.02B Avg. Daily Volume: 777,239 52 Week Range: $171.56 – $237.41

    You can view the full list of sales from this Insider Sales page.

    Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/asifsuria or follow me on Twitter@asifsuria

    Insider Weekends – February 20, 2015

    Welcome to edition 244 of Insider Weekends. Insider buying decreased last week with insiders buying $56.56 million of stock compared to $101.2 million in the week prior. Selling increased with insiders selling $1.59 billion of stock last week compared to $1.38 billion in the week prior.

    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 28.27. In other words, insiders sold more than 28 times as much stock as they purchased. The Sell/Buy ratio this week compares unfavorably with the prior week, when the ratio stood at 13.67. 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 February 20, 2015

    Insider Sell Buy Ratio February 20, 2015

    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. General Electric Company (GE): $25.21

    Director William G. Beattie acquired 800,000 shares of General Electric, paying $25.12 per share for a total amount of $20.09 million. These shares were acquired indirectly by an investment company.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for General Electric Company here.

    P/E: 16.82 Forward P/E: 13.78 Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: 1.69 Price/Book: 1.96 EV/EBITDA: 20.47
    Market Cap: $253.36B Avg. Daily Volume: 38,464,900 52 Week Range: $23.41 – $27.53

    2. Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD): $157.66

    Chairman, President and CEO Seifi Ghasemi acquired 27,000 shares of this supplier of industrial gases and performance material, paying $153.27 per share for a total amount of $4.14 million. Mr. Ghasemi increased his stake by 18.99% to 169,171 shares with this purchase.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Air Products & Chemicals Inc. here.

    P/E: 33.12 Forward P/E: 21.51 Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: 3.2 Price/Book: 4.55 EV/EBITDA: 14.5
    Market Cap: $33.78B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,134,440 52 Week Range: $114.28 – $157.73

    3. MedAssets, Inc. (MDAS): $19.73

    Chairman and CEO R. Halsey Wise acquired 110,300 shares of this healthcare information services company, paying $18.15 per share for a total amount of $2 million. Mr. Wise increased his stake by 729.06% to 125,429 shares with this purchase.

    The stock fell sharply and hit a fresh 52 week low last week after the company reported fourth quarter results that beat expectations on the top line with double-digit revenue growth but the forecast for 2015 disappointed investors. Net loss of $42.4 million in the fourth quarter was primarily on account of a large goodwill write down and adjusted EBITDA rose 20.4% year-over-year to $63.5 million. For 2015, the company expects revenue to increase between 4.6% and 6.5% to a  range of $753 to $767 million and GAAP earnings of 26 to 36 cents per share. The company is guiding towards an adjusted EBITDA number of $1.13 to $1.23 per share for 2015.

    The large discrepancy between the GAAP earnings and adjusted EBITDA number is mostly on account of interest payments on the substantial debt the company carries on its balance sheet and even larger depreciation expenses.

    Investor enthusiasm was rekindled following this purchase and they bid the stock up nearly 8.5% on nearly 5 times average daily volume on Friday.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for MedAssets, Inc. here.

    P/E: 40.27 Forward P/E: 15.06 Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: 1.58 Price/Book: 2.25 EV/EBITDA: 10.07
    Market Cap: $1.19B Avg. Daily Volume: 530,262 52 Week Range: $17 – $26.09

    4. The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG): $78.53

    Director Nelson Peltz acquired 12,800 shares of this sports entertainment and media company, paying $77.98 per share for a total amount of $998,172.

    Mr. Peltz is a co-founder of activist hedge fund Trian Fund Management and is estimated to have a net worth of $1.94 billion.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for The Madison Square Garden Company here.

    P/E: 30.78 Forward P/E: 31.41 Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: 3.7 Price/Book: 3.39 EV/EBITDA: 17.56
    Market Cap: $6.03B Avg. Daily Volume: 429,372 52 Week Range: $48.16 – $79.37

    5. CARBO Ceramics Inc. (CRR): $36.95

    Director William C. Morris acquired 19,861 shares of this oilfield services technology company, paying $38.77 per share for a total amount of $770,074. These shares were purchased indirectly by Mr. Morris’s wife.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for CARBO Ceramics Inc. here.

    P/E: 15.33 Forward P/E: 111.97 Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: 1.42 Price/Book: 1.19 EV/EBITDA: 5.98
    Market Cap: $860.90M Avg. Daily Volume: 1,162,040 52 Week Range: $27.97 – $156

    You can view the full list of purchases from this Insider Buying page.

    Notable Insider Sales:

    1. Twitter, Inc. (TWTR): $49.11

    Shares of Twitter were sold by 2 insiders:

    • Director Evan Clark Williams sold 852,000 shares for $48.02, generating $40.91 million from the sale. 800,880 of these shares were sold indirectly through various entities.
    • Vice President of Product Kevin Weil sold 5,169 shares for $48.06, generating $248,440 from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Twitter, Inc. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: 61.39 Industry P/E: 22.79
    P/S: 21.84 Price/Book: 8.45 EV/EBITDA: -86.2
    Market Cap: $30.91B Avg. Daily Volume: 20,720,800 52 Week Range: $29.51 – $56.99

    Voluntary Disclosure: I hold a long position in Twitter (TWTR)

    2. The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX): $37.63

    Vice Chairman J. Tomilson Hill sold 443,240 shares of this asset management company for $36.34, generating $16.11 million from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for The Blackstone Group L.P. here.

    P/E: 14.59 Forward P/E: 9.9 Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: 3 Price/Book: 3.31 EV/EBITDA: N/A
    Market Cap: $22.18B Avg. Daily Volume: 4,236,010 52 Week Range: $26.56 – $37.95

    3. Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (ENT): $13.31

    Director Jeffrey Sagansky sold 800,000 shares of this in-flight Wi-Fi and entertainment provider for $13.10, generating $10.48 million from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: 665.5 Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: 2.84 Price/Book: 3.1 EV/EBITDA: 144.31
    Market Cap: $1.02B Avg. Daily Volume: 432,592 52 Week Range: $9.3 – $18.48

    4. NetSuite Inc. (N): $100.91

    Shares of this cloud enterprise software company were sold by 4 insiders:

    • CTO & Chairman of the Board Evan Goldberg sold 45,250 shares for $98.95, generating $4.48 million from the sale. 20,000 of these shares were sold indirectly through a trust
    • Chief Financial Officer Ronald S. Gill sold 18,392 shares for $98.22, generating $1.81 million from the sale.
    • President WW Sales & Distribution Marc Huffman sold 18,123 shares for $98.22, generating $1.78 million from the sale.
    • EVP & Chief Customer Officer Timothy Dilley sold 10,128 shares for $98.21, generating $994,656 from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for NetSuite Inc. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: 214.7 Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: 13.8 Price/Book: 32.77 EV/EBITDA: -143.41
    Market Cap: $7.75B Avg. Daily Volume: 400,833 52 Week Range: $69.48 – $120.77

    5. Flowserve Corp. (FLS): $62.55

    Shares of this industrial flow management equipment company were sold by 3 insiders:

    • President & CEO Mark A. Blinn sold 69,000 shares for $62.48, generating $4.31 million from the sale.
    • SVP, Chief Operating Officer Thomas L. Pajonas sold 40,000 shares for $62.48, generating $2.49 million from the sale.
    • SVP and CFO Michael S. Taff sold 30,000 shares for $62.48, generating $1.87 million from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Flowserve Corp. here.

    P/E: 17.35 Forward P/E: 15.29 Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: 1.75 Price/Book: 4.42 EV/EBITDA: 10.42
    Market Cap: $8.53B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,921,290 52 Week Range: $52.75 – $82.24

    You can view the full list of sales from this Insider Sales page.

    Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/asifsuria or follow me on Twitter@asifsuria

    Insider Weekends – February 13, 2015

    Welcome to edition 243 of Insider Weekends. Insider buying increased last week with insiders buying $101.2 million of stock compared to $97.23 million in the week prior. Selling edged down with insiders selling $1.38 billion of stock last week compared to $1.41 billion in the week prior.

    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 dropped to 13.67. In other words, insiders sold more than 13 times as much stock as they purchased. The Sell/Buy ratio this week compares favorably with the prior week, when the ratio stood at 14.51. 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 February 13, 2015

    Insider Sell Buy Ratio February 13, 2015

    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. Colfax Corporation (CFX): $52.02

    Director Mitchell P. Rales acquired 500,000 shares of this industrial manufacturing and engineering company, paying $46.25 per share for a total amount of $23.13 million. These shares were purchased indirectly by Colfax Capital Corporation.

    Mr. Rales is the co-founder of both Danaher (DHR) and Colfax along with his brother Steven Rales and built both companies from the ground up. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board at Colfax. With an estimated net worth of $4 billion, this purchase may not be very large but it is his biggest purchase since he acquired $50 million worth of Colfax stock in January 2012 at a price of $23.04.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Colfax Corporation here.

    P/E: 17.23 Forward P/E: 21.41 Industry P/E: 22.66
    P/S: 1.29 Price/Book: 1.89 EV/EBITDA: 11.94
    Market Cap: $6.44B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,147,070 52 Week Range: $42.86 – $75.37

    2. ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (ZIOP): $9.64

    Director Randal J. Kirk acquired 1,440,000 shares of this biotech company, paying $8.75 per share for a total amount of $12.6 million. These shares were purchased indirectly by Intrexon Corporation.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: 829.66 Price/Book: 28.06 EV/EBITDA: -25.67
    Market Cap: $987.14M Avg. Daily Volume: 2,876,010 52 Week Range: $2.31 – $10.1

    3. Fifth Street Finance Corp. (FSC): $7.23

    Shares of this investment company were acquired by 3 insiders:

    • Director Leonard M. Tannenbaum acquired 1,121,851 shares, paying $6.94 per share for a total amount of $7.79 million. Mr. Tannenbaum increased his stake by 55.38% to 3,147,685 shares with this purchase.
    • Chief Executive Officer Todd Owens acquired 10,000 shares, paying $7.05 per share for a total amount of $70,482.
    • Director Bernard D. Berman acquired 2,000 shares, paying $6.99 per share for a total amount of $13,980. Mr. Berman increased his stake by 8.34% to 25,968 shares with this purchase.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Fifth Street Finance Corp. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: 14.71
    P/S: N/A Price/Book: N/A EV/EBITDA: N/A
    Market Cap: $N/A Avg. Daily Volume: N/A 52 Week Range: $6.8 – $10.2

    4. Kingsway Financial Services Inc. (KFS): $5.88

    Director Joseph Stilwell acquired 250,000 shares of this insurance company, paying $5.63 per share for a total amount of $1.41 million. Mr. Stilwell increased his stake by 7.10% to 3,772,218 shares with this purchase.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Kingsway Financial Services Inc. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: 12.76
    P/S: 0.61 Price/Book: 3.21 EV/EBITDA: 10.64
    Market Cap: $115.89M Avg. Daily Volume: 17,108 52 Week Range: $3.88 – $7.01

    5. Biglari Holdings Inc. (BH): $416.41

    Chairman and CEO Sardar Biglari, acquired 2,506 shares of this restaurant holding company, paying $415.00 per share for a total amount of $1,039,990. These shares were purchased indirectly by The Lion Fund.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Biglari Holdings Inc. here.

    P/E: 24.76 Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: 37.77
    P/S: 1.09 Price/Book: 1.35 EV/EBITDA: 25.58
    Market Cap: $859.89M Avg. Daily Volume: 9,765 52 Week Range: $312 – $475.404

    You can view the full list of purchases from this Insider Buying page.

    Notable Insider Sales:

    1. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): $43.87

    Founder Bill Gates sold 2,000,000 shares of Microsoft for $42.42, generating $84.83 million from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Microsoft Corporation here.

    P/E: 17.7 Forward P/E: 14.92 Industry P/E: 28.13
    P/S: 3.78 Price/Book: 3.85 EV/EBITDA: 8.9
    Market Cap: $359.90B Avg. Daily Volume: 35,792,400 52 Week Range: $37.19 – $50.05

    2. ServiceNow, Inc. (NOW): $77.55

    Shares of this software-as-a-service provider were sold by 5 insiders:

    • Chief Product Officer Frederic B. Luddy sold 203,600 shares for $73.35, generating $14.93 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through a trust.
    • President & CEO Frank Slootman sold 40,071 shares for $73.25, generating $2.94 million from the sale.
    • Chief Financial Officer Michael Scarpelli sold 20,035 shares for $73.25, generating $1.47 million from the sale.
    • Chief Revenue Officer David Schneider sold 20,035 shares for $73.25, generating $1.47 million from the sale.
    • Director William L. Strauss sold 8,300 shares for $75.02, generating $622,635 from the sale. These shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for ServiceNow, Inc. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: 155.1 Industry P/E: 19.71
    P/S: 16.54 Price/Book: 26.34 EV/EBITDA: -104.08
    Market Cap: $11.53B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,091,110 52 Week Range: $44.17 – $77.64

    3. Robert Half International Inc. (RHI): $61.42

    Vice Chairman, President & CFO M. Keith Waddell sold 300,000 shares of this staffing and risk consulting services provider for $60.60, generating $18.18 million from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Robert Half International Inc. here.

    P/E: 27.18 Forward P/E: 20.2 Industry P/E: 21.75
    P/S: 1.74 Price/Book: 8.46 EV/EBITDA: 14.48
    Market Cap: $8.19B Avg. Daily Volume: 862,432 52 Week Range: $39.57 – $61.99

    4. The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW): $29.13

    Chairman Charles R. Schwab sold 400,000 shares of this investment brokerage for $28.72, generating $11.49 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through a trust.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for The Charles Schwab Corporation here.

    P/E: 30.66 Forward P/E: 18.67 Industry P/E: 20.61
    P/S: 6.46 Price/Book: 3.69 EV/EBITDA: N/A
    Market Cap: $38.04B Avg. Daily Volume: 7,078,110 52 Week Range: $23.35 – $31

    5. Qualys, Inc. (QLYS): $47.95

    Chairman, President & CEO Philippe F. Courtot sold 250,000 shares of this security and compliance services company for $45.57, generating $11.39 million from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Qualys, Inc. here.

    P/E: 59.2 Forward P/E: 69.49 Industry P/E: 34.46
    P/S: 11.64 Price/Book: 10.24 EV/EBITDA: 69.84
    Market Cap: $1.60B Avg. Daily Volume: 268,837 52 Week Range: $18 – $48

    You can view the full list of sales from this Insider Sales page.

    Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/asifsuria or follow me on Twitter@asifsuria

    Insider Weekends – February 6, 2015

    Welcome to edition 242 of Insider Weekends. Insider buying decreased last week with insiders buying $97.23 million of stock compared to $196.76 million in the week prior. Selling also edged down with insiders selling $1.41 billion of stock last week compared to $1.49 billion in the week prior.

    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 14.51. 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 7.56. 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 February 6, 2015

    Insider Sell Buy Ratio February 6, 2015

    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. Hess Corporation (HES): $72.97

    Chief Executive Officer John B. Hess acquired 57,506 shares of this integrated energy company, paying $69.52 per share for a total amount of $3.99 million. Mr. Hess increased his stake by 3.98% to 1,501,229 shares with this purchase. 28,753 of these shares were acquired indirectly by a family LLC.

    It is interesting to see yet another insider purchase by the CEO of an energy company. While Hess’ numbers look very attractive, the decline in oil prices have not yet been factored into these numbers. Hess missed fourth quarter earnings estimates of 28 cents per share but still managed to post a profit of 18 cents a share driven by a 19% decline in revenue. The decline in revenue and earnings would have been even sharper had the company not hedged its exposure to oil prices. As some of those hedges wind down over the next few months, results are likely to get worse before they get better given the company’s exposure to production from North Dakota’s Bakken shale and Ohio’s Utica shale regions.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Hess Corporation here.

    P/E: 9.69 Forward P/E: 121.62 Industry P/E: 14.62
    P/S: 1.97 Price/Book: 0.95 EV/EBITDA: 4.66
    Market Cap: $21.09B Avg. Daily Volume: 3,927,560 52 Week Range: $63.8 – $104.5

    2. Green Dot Corporation (GDOT): $15.42

    Chairman, President and CEO Steven W. Streit acquired 206,800 shares of this technology-centric, consumer bank holding company, paying $14.45 per share for a total amount of $2.99 million. These shares were purchased indirectly through a trust.

    This purchase follows a big decline in the stock of Green Dot, the company known for its prepaid debit cards. The stock declined more than 23% last week after the company reported disappointing results and swung to a loss of 2 cents per share despite 6% top line growth. For the full year 2015, the company expects revenue to grow 18% to 28% to between $720 million and $780 million and non-GAAP earnings to range from $1.24 to $1.47.

    At its current price, the stock appears to be trading close to the valuation of a regional bank instead of a disruptive financial services company.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Green Dot Corporation here.

    P/E: 17.13 Forward P/E: 9.95 Industry P/E: 15.21
    P/S: 1.24 Price/Book: 1.21 EV/EBITDA: 1.76
    Market Cap: $788.66M Avg. Daily Volume: 676,053 52 Week Range: $13.87 – $24.47

    3. CARBO Ceramics Inc. (CRR): $36.19

    Director William C. Morris acquired 39,995 shares of this manufacturer of ceramic proppants primarily used in the hydraulic fracturing of natural gas and oil wells, paying $34.38 per share for a total amount of $1.38 million. These shares were purchased indirectly by Mr. Morris’s wife.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for CARBO Ceramics Inc. here.

    P/E: 15.02 Forward P/E: 84.16 Industry P/E: 15.32
    P/S: 1.25 Price/Book: 1.05 EV/EBITDA: 5.36
    Market Cap: $843.19M Avg. Daily Volume: 1,082,290 52 Week Range: $27.97 – $156

    4. Biglari Holdings Inc. (BH): $418.22

    Chairman and CEO Sardar Biglari, acquired 2,598 shares of this restaurant holding company, paying $411.91 per share for a total amount of $1.07 million. These shares were acquired indirectly through The Lion Fund.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Biglari Holdings Inc. here.

    P/E: 24.86 Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: 36.14
    P/S: 1.09 Price/Book: 1.36 EV/EBITDA: 25.67
    Market Cap: $863.62M Avg. Daily Volume: 9,624 52 Week Range: $312 – $475.404

    5. United States Steel Corp. (X): $23.19

    Shares of this steel company were acquired by 3 insiders:

    • Exec. VP and CFO David B. Burritt acquired 40,083 shares, paying $24.90 per share for a total amount of $998,039. Mr. Burritt increased his stake by 30.45% to 171,701 shares with this purchase.
    • Director Patricia Diaz Dennis acquired 1,000 shares, paying $24.00 per share for a total amount of $24,000.
    • Director Robert J. Stevens acquired 1,000 shares, paying $22.86 per share for a total amount of $22,859.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for United States Steel Corp. here.

    P/E: 33.61 Forward P/E: 8.31 Industry P/E: 13.4
    P/S: 0.19 Price/Book: 0.9 EV/EBITDA: 3.57
    Market Cap: $3.38B Avg. Daily Volume: 8,573,410 52 Week Range: $20.13 – $46.55

    You can view the full list of purchases from this Insider Buying page.

    Notable Insider Sales:

    1. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): $42.41

    Shares of Microsoft were sold by 2 insiders:

    • Founder Bill Gates sold 5,000,000 shares for $41.25, generating $206.27 million from the sale.
    • Chief Accounting Officer Frank H. Brod sold 6,000 shares for $41.83, generating $250,980 from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Microsoft Corporation here.

    P/E: 17.11 Forward P/E: 14.43 Industry P/E: 26.96
    P/S: 3.73 Price/Book: 3.8 EV/EBITDA: 8.54
    Market Cap: $347.92B Avg. Daily Volume: 35,216,900 52 Week Range: $36.29 – $50.05

    2. Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO): $77.35

    Shares of this retail discount store chain were sold by 4 insiders:

    • Chief Executive Officer Howard R. Levine sold 1,766,407 shares for $76.26, generating $134.71 million from the sale.
    • Director Pamela Lewis Davies sold 2,731 shares for $77.38, generating $211,325 from the sale.
    • Director Fund Management, Trian sold 500 shares for $76.30, generating $38,150 from the sale.
    • Director Edward P. Garden sold 500 shares for $76.30, generating $38,150 from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through a fund.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Family Dollar Stores Inc. here.

    P/E: 35.66 Forward P/E: 25.96 Industry P/E: 26.06
    P/S: 0.84 Price/Book: 5.26 EV/EBITDA: 12.46
    Market Cap: $8.85B Avg. Daily Volume: 2,012,380 52 Week Range: $55.64 – $80.97

    3. The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW): $29.11

    Chairman Charles R. Schwab sold 722,391 shares of this investment brokerage for $27.33, generating $19.74 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through a trust.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for The Charles Schwab Corporation here.

    P/E: 30.64 Forward P/E: 18.54 Industry P/E: 20.9
    P/S: 6.02 Price/Book: 3.44 EV/EBITDA: N/A
    Market Cap: $38.01B Avg. Daily Volume: 6,982,470 52 Week Range: $23.35 – $31

    4. Cimpress N.V. (CMPR): $82.33

    Shares of this business services company (operator of Vistaprint) were sold by 2 insiders:

    • CEO, President Robert S. Keane sold 99,400 shares for $80.00, generating $7.95 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through various entities. These shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
    • Chief Financial Officer Ernst Teunissen sold 50,535 shares for $80.00, generating $4.04 million from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Cimpress N.V. here.

    P/E: 30.86 Forward P/E: 18.5 Industry P/E: N/A
    P/S: 1.97 Price/Book: 10.75 EV/EBITDA: 14.75
    Market Cap: $2.69B Avg. Daily Volume: 270,661 52 Week Range: $37.05 – $84.98

    5. The Ultimate Software Group, Inc. (ULTI): $158.47

    Shares of this software-as-a-service (SAAS) provider were sold by 3 insiders:

    • Vice-Chairman & COO Marc D. Scherr sold 25,000 shares for $156.64, generating $3.92 million from the sale.
    • Chairman, President and CEO Scott Scherr sold 25,000 shares for $156.61, generating $3.93 million from the sale.
    • Director James A. Fitzpatrick sold 1,047 shares for $157.12, generating $164,505 from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for The Ultimate Software Group, Inc. here.

    P/E: 104.26 Forward P/E: 51.62 Industry P/E: 25.05
    P/S: 8.83 Price/Book: 16.45 EV/EBITDA: 59.74
    Market Cap: $4.51B Avg. Daily Volume: 244,306 52 Week Range: $109.5 – $171.96

    You can view the full list of sales from this Insider Sales page.

    Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/asifsuria or follow me on Twitter@asifsuria

    Insider Weekends – January 30, 2015

    Welcome to edition 241 of Insider Weekends. Insider buying increased significantly last week with insiders buying $196.76 million of stock compared to $16.43 million in the week prior. Selling also increased with insiders selling $1.49 billion of stock last week compared to $936.53 million in the week prior. The big jump in insider buying was partially on account of existing insiders participating in certain secondary offerings and the partial removal of the earnings related overhang.

    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 dropped to 7.56. In other words, insiders sold almost 8 times as much stock as they purchased. The Sell/Buy ratio this week compares favorably with the prior week, when the ratio stood at 57. 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 January 30, 2015

    Insider Sell Buy Ratio January 30, 2015

    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. A. M. Castle & Co. (CAS): $6.05

    10% Owner William C. Martin acquired 250,000 shares of this specialty metals and plastics distribution company, paying $6.04 per share for a total amount of $1.51 million.

    We normally do not highlight insider purchases by non-management 10% owners but decided to make an exception in this case. This purchase caught my eye because Mr. Martin founded the message board Raging Bull in 1997 and then the site InsiderScore in 2004. InsiderScore also provides insider trading information but it appears to be a premium product targeted towards professional money managers. He is also the founder of the investment partnership Raging Capital Management, which was founded in 2006 and has an estimated portfolio of $893 million.

    A. M. Castle has a leveraged balance sheet, declining revenue and negative operating margins. Given these uninspiring numbers, I am baffled by Mr. Martin’s interest in the company. Quite clearly he sees something in the company that most other investors don’t, as the stock is down 56% over the last year and down 24% just since the start of 2015.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for A. M. Castle & Co. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: 17.19
    P/S: 0.14 Price/Book: 0.66 EV/EBITDA: -50.76
    Market Cap: $142.20M Avg. Daily Volume: 264,323 52 Week Range: $5.52 – $15.64

    2. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): $40.4

    Director Charles W. Scharf acquired 23,612 shares of Microsoft, paying $42.34 per share for a total amount of $999,654. Mr. Scharf increased his stake by 660.29% to 27,188 shares with this purchase.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Microsoft Corporation here.

    P/E: 16.3 Forward P/E: 13.69 Industry P/E: 27.47
    P/S: 3.69 Price/Book: 3.76 EV/EBITDA: 8.05
    Market Cap: $331.43B Avg. Daily Volume: 33,941,600 52 Week Range: $35.69 – $50.05

    3. Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. (FPRX): $26.31

    Director Franklin M. Berger acquired 25,000 shares of this biotech company, paying $27.03 per share for a total amount of $675,750. Mr. Berger increased his stake by 208.33% to 37,000 shares with this purchase.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: N/A Industry P/E: 34.32
    P/S: 30.73 Price/Book: 5.95 EV/EBITDA: -13.89
    Market Cap: $566.98M Avg. Daily Volume: 314,076 52 Week Range: $10.5 – $28.47

    4. Regions Financial Corporation (RF): $8.7

    CFO David J. Turner Jr. acquired 65,000 shares of this regional bank, paying $9.16 per share for a total amount of $595,098. These shares were acquired indirectly through a trust.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Regions Financial Corporation here.

    P/E: 10.89 Forward P/E: 9.89 Industry P/E: 16.77
    P/S: 2.39 Price/Book: 0.74 EV/EBITDA: N/A
    Market Cap: $11.78B Avg. Daily Volume: 16,519,300 52 Week Range: $8.59 – $11.54

    Voluntary Disclosure: I hold a long position in Regions Financial Corporation (RF)

    5. Texas Capital BancShares Inc. (TCBI): $40.85

    President and CEO C. Keith Cargill acquired 10,000 shares of this regional bank, paying $43.12 per share for a total amount of $431,200. Mr. Cargill increased his stake by 78.43% to 22,750 shares with this purchase.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Texas Capital BancShares Inc. here.

    P/E: 14.18 Forward P/E: 11.81 Industry P/E: 14.1
    P/S: 3.86 Price/Book: 1.44 EV/EBITDA: N/A
    Market Cap: $1.87B Avg. Daily Volume: 744,711 52 Week Range: $40.4 – $67.08

    You can view the full list of purchases from this Insider Buying page.

    Notable Insider Sales:

    1. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): $40.4

    Founder Bill Gates sold 1,000,000 shares of Microsoft for $41.68, generating $41.68 million from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Microsoft Corporation here.

    P/E: 16.3 Forward P/E: 13.69 Industry P/E: 27.47
    P/S: 3.69 Price/Book: 3.76 EV/EBITDA: 8.05
    Market Cap: $331.43B Avg. Daily Volume: 33,941,600 52 Week Range: $35.69 – $50.05

    2. Twitter, Inc. (TWTR): $37.53

    Shares of Twitter were sold by 3 insiders:

    • Director Evan Clark Williams sold 372,000 shares for $39.10, generating $14.55 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through various trusts.
    • Director Jack Dorsey sold 50,417 shares for $39.87, generating $2.01 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through a trust.
    • VP, Engineering Alexander Roetter sold 206 shares for $38.49, generating $7,930 from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Twitter, Inc. here.

    P/E: N/A Forward P/E: 110.38 Industry P/E: 37.89
    P/S: 19.66 Price/Book: 6.51 EV/EBITDA: -27.42
    Market Cap: $23.46B Avg. Daily Volume: 19,640,400 52 Week Range: $29.51 – $67.24

    Voluntary Disclosure: I hold a long position in Twitter (TWTR)

    3. The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW): $25.98

    Chairman Charles R. Schwab sold 277,609 shares of this investment brokerage for $27.23, generating $7.56 million from the sale. These shares were sold indirectly through a trust.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for The Charles Schwab Corporation here.

    P/E: 27.35 Forward P/E: 16.55 Industry P/E: 19.43
    P/S: 5.67 Price/Book: 3.24 EV/EBITDA: N/A
    Market Cap: $33.92B Avg. Daily Volume: 6,850,620 52 Week Range: $23.35 – $31

    4. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF): $28.73

    Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer sold 250,000 shares of this movie production and distribution company for $28.78, generating $7.19 million from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. here.

    P/E: 21.54 Forward P/E: 16.32 Industry P/E: 27.05
    P/S: 1.57 Price/Book: 7.19 EV/EBITDA: 18.82
    Market Cap: $4.02B Avg. Daily Volume: 1,156,300 52 Week Range: $24.54 – $35.75

    5. Electronic Arts Inc. (EA): $54.86

    Shares of this video games company were sold by 3 insiders:

    • EVP Legal & Business Affairs Joel Linzner sold 60,000 shares for $55.00, generating $3.29 million from the sale. 30,000 of these shares were sold as a result of exercising options immediately prior to the sale.
    • SVP, Chief Accounting Officer Kenneth A. Barker sold 39,800 shares for $54.77, generating $2.18 million from the sale.
    • Chief Operating Officer Peter R. Moore sold 28,691 shares for $55.00, generating $1.58 million from the sale.

    You can view the list of recent insider transactions for Electronic Arts Inc. here.

    P/E: 21.16 Forward P/E: 20.94 Industry P/E: 20.95
    P/S: 3.86 Price/Book: 6.4 EV/EBITDA: 12.96
    Market Cap: $17.06B Avg. Daily Volume: 4,182,680 52 Week Range: $25.56 – $55.8

    You can view the full list of sales from this Insider Sales page.

    Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/asifsuria or follow me on Twitter@asifsuria