The markets are in the green this morning, buoyed by existing home sales rising by 3.2% in September. On the other hand, weekly jobless claims in the U.S. rose higher than expected, to 260,000, though remaining firmly in strong territory.
In this daily insider trading article, we’ll take a look at several prominent insider transactions that were executed over the past few days, and which did not involve either trading plans or the execution of stock options. They involve the Chairmen of four companies, as well as a Director at Lions Gate.
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).
Director Buys Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp (USA) (NYSE:LGF)
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp (USA) (NYSE:LGF) Independent Director Arthur Evrensel acquired 2,600 shares at $18.60 each on Tuesday, lifting his direct ownership stake in the entertainment production company to 44,906 shares. That amount includes 3,815 restricted stock units that will begin to vest in September 2017.
The purchase comes amid Lions Gate’s continued struggles at the box office and on the stock market, as shares have sagged by 41% this year. The company has also suffered a number of executive departures in recent months, including Co-President of Production Bobby Cohen and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairman Rob Friedman.
Nonetheless, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp (USA) (NYSE:LGF) was one of the most popular small-cap stocks among the collection of hedge funds that we track during the second quarter, as a net total of eight more hedge funds were long the stock on June 30 than on March 31, 40 in all. The move into the stock was likely the result of Lions Gate’s announcement at the end of the quarter that it would acquire Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) in a deal valued at $4.4 billion.
Head of Ennis Inc. (NYSE:EBF) Unloads Shares
The Chairman, President and CEO of Ennis Inc. (NYSE:EBF), Keith S. Walters, disposed of 10,000 shares of his company at an average price of $15.53 on Wednesday. Mr. Walters now holds a direct ownership stake of 321,333 shares.
That the man leading Ennis Inc. (NYSE:EBF) is selling shares at a time when the stock has been continuously reaching new 52-week lows over the past several trading sessions is not exactly the kind of vote of confidence that most shareholders like to see. Shares of the company have gradually sunk following the sale of its Alstyle apparel division to Gildan Activewear Inc (USA) (NYSE:GIL) in late-May, as the company faces what Mr. Walters described as “predatory pricing” challenges, among other headwinds. However, he believes the business products and apparel company is in a position to provide quality, competitively-priced products to its customers. Ennis pays out a quarterly dividend of $0.18, which amounts to an annual yield of 4.51%. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies owned 894,100 shares of Ennis Inc. on June 30.
We’ll check out three more stocks with recent insider trading activity on the next page.