Studies show that, on average, stocks that are bought by insiders tend to outperform the market (read more about studies on insider trading). Can an investor buy every single stock that insiders are buying? Of course not; one way to take advantage of this statistical relationship, however, is by screening for stocks that have seen insider purchases and then researching those companies in more detail to find attractive investments. We screened our database of filings for stocks that had been bought by insiders since the beginning of November and here are 7 stocks where there has been insider buying activity:
Two insiders have been buying shares of Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) in November; consensus buying among insiders is a particularly bullish signal. Board member William Thompson put close to $250,000 into the company while Joan Spero made a smaller purchase. Thompson had bought 100,000 shares of the stock in August 2009 at $4 per share, and adjusting for stock splits he has lost money while the broader market has risen. So his track record is not particularly good. Billionaire David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management increased its stake during the third quarter and closed September with 10.2 million shares in its portfolio (check out more of David Tepper's stock picks).
There has also been consensus insider buying during the month of November at Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:PDM), with two Board members at the $3 billion market cap real estate investment trust buying the stock at prices generally between $17.40 and $17.80. Our database of insider trading filings shows that three other insiders bought shares in May of this year (see more insider purchases at Piedmont Office Realty Trust) at prices around $16.60 or so, since which time the stock has risen about even with the S&P 500.
Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited has continued to buy shares of AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO), an agricultural equipment company. Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited is controlled by Mallika Srinivasan, who serves on AGCO’s Board of Directors. The most recent filing had the company controlling 2.7 million shares, in a spree of buying that has been going on since mid-September. Research insider purchases at AGCO over time. Renaissance Technologies, whose founder Jim Simons is now a billionaire, owned about 340,000 shares of AGCO at the end of September. Find Renaissance Technologies' favorite stocks.
Chieftain Capital, which owns a significant portion of shares in Tempur-Pedic International Inc. (NYSE:TPX) and therefore must file similarly to a company insider, reported a big buy between November 20th and November 23rd. Chieftain’s last purchase had come in early October, at prices around $31 per share; the stock currently trades between $26 and $27, and is down 52% year to date.
The CEO of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), Charles Szews, bought shares at an average price of $30.24. Szews had previously bought shares of the stock in March at around $23.50-60 per share, and the stock has risen substantially since that time. Oshkosh is notable because billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn is attempting to merge the company with Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV); Icahn recently nominated several Board members for the company ahead of a potential battle for control of Oshkosh. See more stocks that Icahn is involved in.
Navistar also came up as a target of insider purchases as Mark Rachesky’s MHR Fund Management- as with Chieftain, MHR is a major investor and controls Board seats at Navistar- bought shares in that company. Rachesky, who used to work for Icahn, has faced off with his former employer before at Lions Gate and has been buying up shares of Navistar for several months (track Rachesky's investments in Navistar).
Finally, Phillip Frost of Opko Health Inc. (NYSE:OPK) has been buying that company’s stock consistently over the last several months. See a history of insider purchases at Opko Health. Over the last 6 months, as Frost has been buying, the stock has fallen 8%. Read our analysis of Opko Health from July.