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Former CEO of Media-Ratings Firm Offloads Shares, Board Member at Low-Priced Drilling Contractor Buys Huge Block of Shares, and Other Transactions

Cluster of Insider Buying at Independent Energy Company Amid Disappointing 2017 Stock Price Performance

Four corporate insiders at SM Energy Co (NYSE:SM) snapped up shares at the beginning of the week, so let’s have a look at the most voluminous purchases. To start with, President and Chief Executive Officer Javan D. Ottoson bought 5,000 shares on Monday at a price of $25.22 per share, lifting his overall holding to 143,102 shares. David W. Copeland, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, purchased 10,000 shares on the same day for $25.22 each, a purchase that boosted his stake to 86,451 shares. William D. Sullivan, Non-Executive Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, snatched up 9,800 shares for $25.69 each and 200 shares at $25.70 apiece on Monday. Mr. Sullivan owns 70,479 shares after these purchases.

The shares of the independent energy company engaged in the acquisition, development and production of crude oil and condensate, natural gas, and natural gas liquids have dropped 28% thus far in 2017. SM Energy Co (NYSE:SM) acquired around 62,000 net acres in the Midland Basin in Howard and Martin Counties, Texas during 2016 and the company recently announced better-than-expected results on eight new wells located in Howard County. Nonetheless, the company’s shares took a hit after the management hinted it plans to spend more time and money testing its acreage to optimize future development plans instead of ramping up production, so investors appear to be concerned that production growth could be lower than previously anticipated. A number of 32 asset managers from our system were invested in the independent energy company at the end of December, stockpiling around 10% of the company’s outstanding shares. Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management owned 1.28 million shares of SM Energy Co (NYSE:SM) at the end of December.

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Director at Leading Player in Industrial Markets Buys Shares

One member of Lydall Inc. (NYSE:LDL)’s boardroom also piled up some shares earlier this week. Board member Matthew T. Farrell, appointed to the Lydall Board in August 2003, bought 2,000 shares on Monday at the purchase price of $51.90 per share, which increased his ownership to 84,385 shares.

The shares of the player in industrial filtration markets tanked several days ago when the company released its financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year of 2016. The company’s shares are 18% in the red thus far in 2017. Lydall Inc. (NYSE:LDL)’s fourth-quarter net sales rose to $144.2 million from $131.4 million, with an acquisition contributing $17.7 million to the top-line figure. In early July 2016, Lydall acquired the nonwoven and coating materials businesses operating under the Texel brand from Canadian-based ADS Inc. However, the acquirer’s technical nonwovens segment, which mainly produces needle punch nonwoven solutions for myriad industries and applications, experienced an organic sales drop of 19.9% year-over-year, reflecting weakness in the domestic power generation market and continued softness in China. Royce & Associates, founded by Chuck Royce, reported ownership of 253,000 shares of Lydall Inc. (NYSE:LDL) through the latest round of 13Fs.

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As usual, the final page of our insider trading article will discuss noteworthy insider selling activity observed at two other companies.

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