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Noteworthy Insider Buys Reported At These 3 Companies Amid Low Volume of Insider Trading

Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) is another company that had an insider buy stock this past week. Director Susan C. Schwab reported buying 364 Class A shares on Wednesday at a price of $68.59 apiece, and currently holds 721 shares. In mid-November, Marriott and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announced a merger agreement that can create the world’s largest hotel company, with more than 5,500 hotels worldwide. Starwood shareholders are set to receive 0.920 of Class A Marriott shares and $2.00 in cash for each share of Starwood’s common stock. The worldwide operator and franchisor of hotels and timeshare properties has seen its shares decline nearly 12% so far in 2015. Meanwhile, the stock trades at a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 22.77, which is slightly below the average of 22.95 for the companies included in the S&P 500. Nonetheless, this valuation metric does not take into account the potential benefits of the possible merger between the two hospitality giants. The company’s focus on long-term management contracts and franchising diminishes the volatility of its earnings figures during periods of weak economic conditions, while its portfolio of hotels is constantly extending without substantial investments. A number of 29 hedge funds from our database were invested in the company at the end of the third quarter, amassing a mere 2.70% of its outstanding common stock. Ken Heebner’s Capital Growth Management acquired a new stake of 835,000 shares in Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) during the September quarter.

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Farmers National Banc Corp (NASDAQ:FMNB) reported an unusual volume of insider buying last week, as three different insiders purchased shares. Director Earl R. Scott purchased 1,000 shares on Thursday at a price of $8.08 per share and currently holds 17,261 shares. Mark R. Witmer, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer, also bought a 1,000-share block on Wednesday for $8.02 each, boosting up his holding to 112,907 shares. Chairman Lance J. Ciroli acquired 500 shares on the same day at $8.00 apiece, increasing his stake to 36,023 shares. The one-bank holding company offers banking services via its nationally-chartered subsidiary called the Farmers National Bank of Canfield. The company’s shares are almost 3% in the red year-to-date and trade at an attractive forward P/E ratio of 11.29, which is substantially below the mean of 17.47 for the companies included in the S&P 500 Index. Farmers National’s net income for the first nine months of 2015 totaled $4.9 million, down from $6.8 million reported for the same period last year. This decrease was mainly attributable to increased merger activity expenses, as the company completed the mergers of the parent companies of 1st National Community Bank and First National of Orrville earlier this year. Neil Chriss’ Hutchin Hill Capital upped its position in Farmers National Banc Corp (NASDAQ:FMNB) by 16% during the July-to-September period to approximately 233,000 shares.

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