Insider Activity at Three of George Soros’ Picks

Over the past three months, a few of the companies in which George Soros’ Soros Fund Management holds stakes have seen their insiders acquire shares. When you combine hedge fund and insider bullishness, chances to outperform the market, grow. And as we have recently reviewed four Warren Buffett picks with recent insider activity, let’s take a look at three companies that would sure make interesting cases for further analysis, in advance of the upcoming 13F filings.

George Soros

First off is EQT Corporation(NYSE:EQT), a $15.6 billion market cap oil and gas exploration and production company that boasts industry leading margins and above average returns. However, trading at 51.8 times the company’s earnings, its stock is no bargain. Notwithstanding, Soros recently increased his stakes in it by 34%, to 2.49 million shares, worth more than $256 million, and is now the third largest institutional shareholder at EQT, trailing Ken Griffin and Jeffrey Tannenbaum, who own 2.6 million and 2.88 million shares, respectively.

Insider activity in the company was not huge, but a few moves have taken place since the beginning of the year. Two board directors, Bray A. Cary Jr. and Philip Behrman, increased their stakes in the stock over the past few months. They now hold 9,278 shares and 6,543 shares, respectively, with a combined value of more than $1.6 million. With analysts expecting it to deliver average annual EPS growth rates around 38% over the next five years, and both insiders and funds betting on this stock, the option of investing should certainly be considered.

One mega-cap company that has seen an insider purchase its stock lately is JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), the widely renowned financial services firm. Soros recently reported having started a position in the stock with more than 2.8 million shares, valued at more than $155 million. In addition, one Board Director, James Crown, bought over the last couple of days of January, 500,000 shares for prices ranging from $55.41 per share to $56.00 per share. Moreover, besides insiders and Soros, other big names are betting on this stock´s performance. Amongst them, we can count Ken Fisher, Paul Ruddock and Steve Heinz, and Richard S. Pzena.

Finally, there’s Leucadia National Corp. (NYSE:LUK), a $9.37 billion market cap company engaged in investment banking and capital markets, beef processing, manufacturing, energy projects, asset management and real estate, of which Soros holds 4.28 million shares. Soros started this position over 2013’s Q4, and his stake is worth about $110 million. In addition to the investment guru, a Board Director at Leucadia also acquired some shares. Harry Stuart Reese procured, on March 25th, 4,000 shares of the company, for $27.11 each. On top of this insider and Mr. Soros, other major hedge fund managers are also betting on this stock. This is the case of D E Shaw, who recently increased his stakes in the company by 9%, to 1.6 million shares, and Bruce Berkowitz, whose fund owns more than 17.9 million shares of the company.

All three of these companies can offer, not only institutional and insider backup, but also, good growth prospects. Bound to grow, but trading at not-cheap valuations, I believe it might still be time to invest in them.

Disclosure: Javier Hasse hold no position in any stocks mentioned

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