Insider buying spiked to 82 purchases on Friday, the second-most active day for insider buying in the past two months, though insider sales outpaced insider buying at a 3:1 pace during the last week. With stocks having returned to record highs and the market now entering what is typically its worst month of the year, the recent cases of insider buying are strong indicators that company-specific tailwinds may be in sight.
Among the biggest insider purchases of the week were those made by leading executives of Qurate Retail Inc Series A (NASDAQ:QRTEA), Keurig Dr Pepper Inc (NYSE:KDP), and Macquarie Infrastructure Corp (NYSE:MIC). We’ll take a look at those purchases and the likely motivations for them below.
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Qurate Retail Inc Series A (NASDAQ:QRTEA)
Who Bought Shares: President & CEO Michael A. George
How Many Shares Were Bought: 220,600 @ $20.40 per share
Date of the Transaction(s): August 30
Qurate Retail Inc Series A (NASDAQ:QRTEA)’s President and CEO made the first insider purchase of the company’s shares in over eight years this past week, buying 220,600 shares to lift his direct ownership position to 1.61 million shares. Mr. George took over as the retail group’s leader in March of this year after 12 years at the helm of QVC Inc., one of Qurate’s eight retail brands. Zulily, HSN, and Garnet Hill are among Qurate’s other leading brands.
Qurate Retail Inc Series A (NASDAQ:QRTEA)’s shares have fallen by over 20% since Mr. George assumed his leadership position in March and one of his primary goals is the turnaround of HSN, which was purchased by Qurate for $2.1 billion in late-December 2017. While sales and customer counts continued to fall at HSN during the first-half of 2018, the division did enjoy significant margin improvement. Qurate Retail Inc Series A (NASDAQ:QRTEA) plans to launch several new brands on the platform in the second-half of this year, including Keurig (more on them on the next page), Anne Klein, and Sleep Number.
On the next page we’ll look at the insider buying activity at Keurig Dr Pepper Inc (NYSE:KDP) and Macquarie Infrastructure Corp (NYSE:MIC).
Keurig Dr Pepper Inc (NYSE:KDP)
Keurig Dr Pepper Inc (NYSE:KDP) insiders have been busy during the past month, with no less than four different insiders purchasing Keurig shares. Directors Robert Singer (20,000 shares) and Peter Harf (21,400 shares), as well as Chief Commercial Officer Derek Hopkins (22,000 shares) and Chief Corp. Affairs Officer Maria Sceppaguercio-Gever (62,223 shares) have all purchased shares since August 10.
The merger between Keurig Green Mountain and Dr Pepper Snapple Group was completed in July and the company’s first earnings report followed a month later, on August 8, just before the insider buying spree. Results were mixed and analysts are torn on the beverage company’s prospects. Wells Fargo sees few tangible revenue synergies, while both Wells Fargo and BMO Capital are concerned about Keurig’s pod pricing power and margins. Keurig Dr Pepper Inc (NYSE:KDP) has also lost two of its Allied Brands since the merger, Fiji Water and BodyArmor, the latter of which was swiped by The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) in mid-August.
Macquarie Infrastructure Corp (NYSE:MIC)
Multiple insiders have purchased shares of Macquarie Infrastructure Corp (NYSE:MIC) in the past month, including Vice President Jay Davis and Directors George Carmany and Ronald Kirk. More recently, CFO Liam Stewart made a purchase of 420 shares on August 28.
Macquarie Infrastructure Corp (NYSE:MIC) shares have slowly trended upwards over the past several months but nonetheless remain down by 25% for the year. The majority of that damage occurred on February 22, when Macquarie announced that it would slash its dividend payment by 31%, which prompted a massive flight from the stock from income investors, as shares sank by over 40%. In mid-April, Michael Rothenberg‘s Moab Capital Partners pushed to have Macquarie’s board ousted at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in May. Despite partial support from proxy advisory firm ISS, all six members of Macquarie’s board were re-elected.