ITT Corp (NYSE:ITT) recently registered the first insider purchase of its shares in the past two years or so. Director Geraud Darnis acquired a 10,000-share block on Monday at prices ranging from $38.68-to-$39.93, enlarging his stake to 11,646 shares. The manufacturer of highly engineered solutions for the energy, transportation and industrial markets has seen its shares advance by 19% since the beginning of the fourth quarter, but they are still down by slightly more than 1% year-to-date. The foreign exchange headwinds and the struggling oil and gas and industrial markets have put some downward pressure on the company’s operations and results over the past few months. Even so, ITT Corp (NYSE:ITT)’s management has been successful in enhancing operational performance and implementing cost reduction efforts so as to tackle the challenging environment. The stock is currently trading at a trailing P/E ratio of 12.40, which is significantly below the median of 22.65 for the companies included in the S&P 500. Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group was among the top shareholders of ITT Corp (NYSE:ITT) at the end of the second quarter, with 1.60 million shares.
Lastly, Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEL) recently registered insider buying activity for the first time this year. Douglas C. Bryant, President and Chief Executive Officer since March 2009, reported purchasing 20,000 shares on Friday at a weighted average price of $19.76. Following this acquisition, the CEO currently holds an ownership stake of 249,404 shares. Just a few days ago, the provider of rapid diagnostic testing solutions, cellular-based virology assays and molecular diagnostic systems disclosed its third quarter earnings report. Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEL) reported total revenues of $46.8 million, which were up by 14% quarter-over-quarter. The company’s net loss tightened quite significantly to $0.8 million or $0.02 per share, compared to $5.8 million or $0.17 per share reported a year ago. The promising financial results for the third quarter put a stop to the downtrend the company’s shares had been riding throughout the year. However, the stock is still down by more than 28% since the beginning of the year. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management owned nearly 382,000 shares of Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEL) at the end of the June quarter.