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Insider Selling at UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH), Plus Insider Buying at 4 Other Companies

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As traders and other stock market participants were coming back from the Labor Day holiday, it’s no surprise that both insider trading activity and liquidity have been improving as of late. Corporate insiders are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission to file Form 4s showing their recently-completed insider purchases and sales within two business days, making it extremely efficient to track insider trading behavior.

A great deal of academic research has shown that corporate insiders’ purchases tend to beat broader market benchmarks by a wide margin. More importantly, various research studies have also concluded that outsiders can outperform the market in the range of 6%-to-11% per year by simply following the footsteps of corporate insiders. Although changes in rules related to the submission of Form 4 filings might have had a negative impact on the so-called ‘insider trading anomaly’, retail investors would do wise to keep track of insider trading behavior. Without further ado, the following article will discuss a set of noteworthy insider transactions reported with the SEC on Friday.

Through extensive research that covered the portfolios of several hundred large investors between 1999 and 2012, we determined that following the small-cap stocks that large money managers are collectively bullish on, can generate monthly returns nearly 1.0 percentage points above the market (see the details here).

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Six Different Insiders at MLP Participate in Public Offering

Let’s kick off our discussion by looking at a cluster of insider buying registered at Western Refining Logistics LP (NYSE:WNRL), a cluster that involved six different corporate insiders. Although the six insiders purchased the shares through an underwritten public offering, we will still have a look at the most sizable purchases. To begin with, Paul L. Foster, Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, snapped up 268,817 shares on Thursday at a price of $22.32 per share, lifting his overall holding to 799,380 shares. More importantly, President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff A. Stevens bought 134,408 shares at a cost of $22.32 per share, which boosted his ownership to 410,691 shares. Board member Scott D. Weaver acquired 44,802 shares through the public offering, which lifted his stake to 120,269 shares.

The growth-oriented master limited partnership owns and operates logistics and related assets such as terminals, storage tanks, pipelines and other logistics assets related to the terminalling, transportation, storage and distribution of crude oil and refined products. Western Refining Logistics LP (NYSE:WNRL) anticipates gross proceeds of around $167.4 million from the aforementioned offering, which are to be used to repay all borrowings under the company’s revolving credit facility, as well as fund a portion of its previously-announced acquisition of certain terminalling, storage and other logistics assets from St. Paul Park Refining. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies owns 61,000 shares of Western Refining Logistics LP (NYSE:WNRL) as of June 30.

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The next two pages of this article will discuss insider transactions involving four other companies as reported with the SEC on Friday.

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