Insider Buying at Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NWL) Ahead of Merger, Plus 2 Other Companies

The insider trading activity at Paramount Group Inc. (NYSE:PGRE) had been absent for quite some time, until last week. Director David P. O’Connor snapped up 32,000 shares on Thursday at a cost of $15.23 per share, lifting his overall stake to 46,285 shares. Retail investors could follow suit considering the company’s disappointing stock performance in 2016.

Shares of Paramount Group are down by 13% year-to-date despite having gained 6% over the past month. Paramount Group operates as a fully-integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that primarily focuses on owning and operating Class A office properties in select central business district submarkets of New York City, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. The REIT’s portfolio includes 12 Class A office properties aggregating 10.4 million square feet, of which 95.3% are leased and 90.3% occupied as of the end of December 2015. In December 2015, the company announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.095 per share for the fourth quarter, which denotes a current dividend yield of 2.43%. Paramount Group generated revenue of $662.41 million during 2015 and funds from operations amounting to $209.35 million. The REIT completed its initial public offering in November 2014 by offering 150.65 million shares to the public at an IPO price of $17.50 per share. The number of hedge funds that we track which had stakes in Paramount Group Inc. (NYSE:PGRE) dropped to 12 from 15 during the December quarter. John Khoury’s Long Pond Capital trimmed its stake in the company by 27% during the fourth quarter, ending the year with 9.59 million shares.

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Let’s conclude our discussion by looking into the cluster of insider buying witnessed at Cross Country Healthcare Inc. (NASDAQ:CCRN). To start with, Director Thomas C. Dircks purchased 12,000 shares yesterday at prices ranging from $11.03 to $11.06, enlarging his direct ownership stake to 78,001 shares. Chief Financial Officer William J. Burns bought 2,600 units of common stock on the same day at a cost of $11.05 apiece, which raised his overall holding to 79,432 shares. Last but not least, President and Chief Executive Officer William J. Grubbs added 10,000 shares to his equity portfolio on Monday, which currently comprises 238,395 shares. The 10,000-share block was purchased for $11.46 per share. This is the type of insider trading behavior that insider trading experts, including ourselves, usually recommend that retail investors seek out.

Cross Country Healthcare, a provider of healthcare staffing, recruiting and workforce solutions, has seen its shares decline by 32% since the beginning of 2016, partially owing to a rather disappointing fourth-quarter earnings report. The company had at least 9,500 active contracts with various clients in both clinical and non-clinical settings at the end of 2015, some of which were represented by acute hospitals, physician practice groups, and nursing facilities, to name just a few. In October 2015, Cross Country Healthcare acquired Mediscan Inc., a provider of temporary healthcare staffing and workforce solutions to the healthcare and education markets, for $29.9 million in cash and $4.7 million in shares. The acquisition is set to set to strengthen the acquirer’s footprint in California by allowing it to add new service lines, expand its market share and diversify its customer base. Cross Country Healthcare’s revenue from services totaled $767.42 million in 2015, which was an increase from $617.83 million in 2014 and $438.31 million in 2013. The hedge fund sentiment towards the company decreased in the fourth quarter of 2015, as the number of funds with positions in Cross Country Healthcare fell to 15 from 20 quarter-over-quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management reported owning nearly 722,000 shares of Cross Country Healthcare Inc. (NASDAQ:CCRN) in its latest 13F filing.

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