Buying Spree of Ambac Financial Group Inc. (AMBC)’s CEO Continues, Plus Noteworthy Insider Buying Activity at Two Other Companies

Oil-Dependent Regional Bank Registers Insider Buying

Prosperity Bancshares Inc. (NYSE:PB) also registered some notable insider buying earlier this week. H. E. Timanus Jr., Vice Chairman of the company’s boardroom, purchased 6,000 shares on Monday at prices varying from $45.00 to $45.39 per share, lifting his direct ownership stake to 120,273 shares. Mr. Timanus also reported the purchase of 500 shares for $45.43 each, which are held by Dooley Investments LTD that currently owns 256,260 shares. The Vice Chairman and his spouse are general partners of Dooley Investments.

The shares of the regional bank holding company for Prosperity Bank, which operates 246 full-service banking locations across the states of Texas and Oklahoma, are down nearly 3% since the beginning of 2016. The local economy in the two states, Prosperity Bancshares Inc. (NYSE:PB)’s only market areas, is highly dependent on a high number of oil companies, which means their struggles amid a possible decline in crude oil prices could hit economic conditions in these areas. Moreover, the bank’s oil and gas loans totaled $362.8 million at the end of March, accounting for 3.8% of total loans. $166.4 million of those loans were issued to production companies, with the remainder being channeled to service companies.

The bank’s shares are currently trading around 11.3-times expected earnings, below the forward P/E ratio of 11.5 for the regional banks industry. A number of 11 asset managers tracked by our team were invested in the company at the end of March, accumulating roughly 3% of its outstanding shares. Ken Griffin’s Citadel Advisors LLC owned almost 426,000 shares of Prosperity Bancshares Inc. (NYSE:PB) on March 31.

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Pharmaceutical Company Registers Cluster of Insider Buying

SCYNEXIS Inc. (NASDAQ:SCYX) had four different insider buy shares last week, which is the kind of insider buying activity investors should look for. To begin with, Board member Clarence Patrick Machado acquired a new stake of 20,000 shares on Friday at $2.39 apiece. Eric Francois, Chief Financial Officer since November 2015, snapped up a 15,000-share stake on the same day for $2.39 each. More importantly, CEO Marco Taglietti bought 100,000 shares at a cost of $2.39 per share, which lifted his overall holding to 225,000 shares. Guy Macdonald, Chairman of the company’s Board since June 2015, acquired a new stake of 40,000 units of common stock on Friday at $2.39 per unit.

A little more than a week ago, the pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel anti-infectives issued 9.38 million shares and warrants to purchase 4.22 million shares at a public offering price of $2.40 per share. SCYNEXIS Inc. (NASDAQ:SCYX) plans to use the estimated $20.7 million in net proceeds to cover working capital needs and general corporate expenses, which may include expenses associated with funding research and development, clinical trials, vendor payables, possible regulatory submissions, additional personnel and capital expenditures. The company’s lead product candidate, called SCY-078, is a novel oral and intravenous (IV) drug developed for the treatment of several fungal infections, including life-threatening invasive fungal infections in humans.

There were a total of eight asset managers followed by our team with long positions in the pharmaceutical company at the end of March, who hoarded up nearly 24% of the company’s total number of outstanding shares. SCYNEXIS shares have lost 64% of their value so far in 2016. Kevin Kotler’s Broadfin Capital reported ownership of 753,373 shares of SCYNEXIS Inc. (NASDAQ:SCYX) in its latest 13F.

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