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7 Stocks That Insiders are Buying Now in 2019

7 Stocks That Insiders are Buying NowPosted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 by Chris Markoch

Institutional investors will tell you that one of the more accurate predictors of a stock that is ready to rise is large share purchases by company executives and other insiders. Unlike individuals who engage in insider trading, which is done without public disclosure and/or knowledge, insider buyers are required to file any share purchases (amount and share price) of their company stock with the SEC. This makes the trade part of the public information that is available to every investor. Insider buying has a different significance than insider selling. Like all of us, company executives have lives and expenses. This means there can be many reasons for a company insider to sell a stock.

However, it’s a different matter when an insider buys shares of their company’s stock. The only reason for an insider to buy their company’s stock is simple – they expect the stock to increase in value. Insider buying tends to occur when the company’s stock has gone through a sharp correction. As you consider positions to enter going into the second quarter earnings season, take time to review this presentation for seven stocks that are showing heavy signs of insider buying.

#1 - Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO)

Valero Energy logo

Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO) - Leading off our presentation is one of the big boys in the energy sector. Valero is the largest global independent oil refiner with refineries throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Valero has outstanding fundamentals including, like a lot of energy stocks, a tempting dividend yield that is currently around 4.3%. With all that said, the stock is in the cyclical energy sector and right now the stock is in a trough. It has declined about 30% from its peak of about $121 in August of 2018. It has been trading in a tight range since the beginning of 2019 and has declined over 15% since a first-quarter earnings report that beat estimates but saw a year-over-year decline in gross operating revenue. The stock currently sits at just under $85 per share. However, since the fourth quarter of last year, directors of the company have combined to buy 25,000 shares that are worth $1.87 million. That level of buying is consistent with the company’s history of returning value to shareholders through share repurchases. For long-term investors who can stomach the volatility that is inherent in oil and gas stocks, Valero is a solid choice. 



About Valero Energy
Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and ethanol producing company in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and internationally. It operates through three segments: Refining, Ethanol, and VLP (Valero Energy Partners LP). The company is involved in oil and gas refining, marketing, and bulk selling activities. It produces conventional and premium gasolines, gasoline meeting the specifications of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), diesel fuels, low-sulfur and ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuels, CARB diesel, other distillates, jet fuels, asphalts, petrochemicals, lubricants, and other refined petroleum products. As of December 31, 2018, the company owned 15 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3.1 million barrels per day. It markets its refined products through wholesale rack and bulk markets; and through approximately 7,000 outlets under the Valero, Beacon, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock, Ultramar, and Texaco brand names. The company also produces and sells ethanol, distiller grains, and corn oil primarily to refiners and gasoline blenders, as well as to animal feed customers. It owns and operates 14 ethanol plants with a combined ethanol production capacity of approximately 1.73 billion gallons per year. In addition, the company owns, operates, develops, and acquires crude oil and refined petroleum products pipelines, terminals, and other transportation and logistics assets that provides transportation and terminaling services. The company was formerly known as Valero Refining and Marketing Company and changed its name to Valero Energy Corporation in August 1997. Valero Energy Corporation was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

Current Price: $93.36
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 12 Buy Ratings, 2 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $103.56 (10.9% Upside)

#2 - Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB)

Schlumberger logo

Schlumberger Limited (NYSE: SLB) - Schlumberger is another oil and gas stock that is tough to overlook. Despite having solid fundamentals, the stock declined 30% in the fourth quarter of 2018. So far in 2019, the stock remains near its 52-week low. But is that trend about to change? Over the last 15 months, a group of insiders has purchased over 50,000 shares valued at over $3 million. It also appears that a slew of M&A activity in 2015 and 2016 is set to pay off as the industry is starting to see increased efficiencies and technological advances that are making the sector more attractive. Investor sentiment seems to be following analysts’ recommendations. SLB is reviewed by 34 analysts and currently has a consensus rating of overweight with several analysts upgrading the stock from hold to buy. Add to that the fact that SLB is offering a record high dividend of over 5 percent, it’s easy to see why investors will begin to take a closer look at this stock.



About Schlumberger
Schlumberger Limited supplies technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry worldwide. The company's Reservoir Characterization segment offers reservoir interpretation and data processing services; open and cased-hole, and slickline services; exploration and production pressure and flow-rate measurement services; tubing-conveyed perforating services; integrated production systems; software, consulting, information management, and IT infrastructure services; reservoir characterization, field development planning, and production enhancement consulting services; petro technical data services and training solutions; and integrated management services. Its Drilling segment designs, manufactures, and markets roller cone and fixed cutter drill bits; supplies drilling fluid systems, fluid systems and specialty equipment, production technology solutions, and engineered managed pressure and underbalanced drilling solutions; and offers environmental services and products. This segment also provides drilling and measurement, land drilling rigs, and related support services; and supplies well planning and drilling, engineering, supervision, logistics, procurement, and contracting services, as well as drilling rig management services. The company's Production segment offers well services; coiled tubing equipment; hydraulic fracturing, multistage completions, perforating, coiled tubing equipment, and services; well completion services and equipment; artificial lift production equipment and optimization services; and production management services. Its Cameron segment offers integrated subsea production systems; drilling equipment and services; onshore and offshore platform wellhead systems and processing solutions; and valve products and measurement systems. The company was formerly known as Socie´te´ de Prospection E´lectrique. Schlumberger Limited was founded in 1926 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Current Price: $33.62
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 15 Buy Ratings, 5 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $47.22 (40.5% Upside)

#3 - EQT (NYSE:EQT)

EQT logo

EQT (NYSE: EQT) - The Pittsburgh-based natural gas company produces and transmits natural gas throughout the Appalachian area. Its stock has plummeted by 50% in less than a year. However, if analysts’ recommendations are to be believed, the company’s fortunes might be changing. Of the 18 firms that cover the company, it received a consensus buy rating and none of the analysts had a rating lower than a hold. Their consensus price target for the stock is $25 per share which would be a significant rise from its stock price (as of this writing) of $14.88 per share. In the last few months, CEO Robert McNally has made two stock purchases totaling over $500,000 dollars. This is in addition to other high-level executives who have made large purchases. Donald Jenkins, Executive Vice President purchased over $110,000 worth of the company’s stock and the senior VP of Human Resources, Dave Smith purchased over $300,000 of the company’s stock.



About EQT
EQT Corporation operates as a natural gas production company in the United States. It produces natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and crude oil. As of December 31, 2018, this segment had 21.8 trillion cubic feet of proved natural gas, NGLs, and crude oil reserves across approximately 1.4 million gross acres. The company was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Current Price: $9.54
Consensus Rating: Hold
Ratings Breakdown: 6 Buy Ratings, 7 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $30.39 (218.8% Upside)

#4 - Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND)

Ligand Pharmaceuticals logo

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LGND) - Ligand develops or acquires technologies that assist pharmaceutical companies in their efforts to discover and create new medicines. Biotech companies like Ligand are notoriously among the most volatile stocks in the industry. Still, when a company with a market cap of over $2 billion sees their stock drop from a high of nearly $280 per share to close under $110, investors take notice – as do analysts. All five analysts that cover the company gave it a buy rating with a consensus price target of $202 – which would be a nearly 80% increase from the current price that is sitting just below $112. In May, CEO John Higgins purchased over $280,000 of the company’s stock when the stock was selling for $113.50 per share. Over the last 90 days, a total of 4,500 shares of the company’s stock have been purchased by company insiders. Adding fuel to the notion that the stock is about to rise, call options for the company’s stock on June 26 were over 1,000 percent higher than normal.  



About Ligand Pharmaceuticals
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing and acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies to discover and develop medicines worldwide. Its commercial programs include Promacta, an oral medicine that increases the number of platelets in the blood; Kyprolis and Evomela, which are used to treat multiple myeloma; Baxdela, a captisol-enabled delafloxacin-IV for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections; Nexterone, a captisol-enabled formulation of amiodarone; Noxafil-IV, a captisol-enabled formulation of posaconazole for IV use; Carnexiv, which is indicated as replacement therapy for oral carbamazepine formulations; bazedoxifene for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis; Aziyo portfolio of commercial pericardial repair and CanGaroo envelope extracellular matrix products; Exemptia for autoimmune diseases; Vivitra for breast cancer; and Bryxta for non-small cell lung cancer. The company's partners programs, which are in clinical development used for the treatment of seizure, coma, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, muscle wasting, liver and kidney diseases, and others. It is also developing a small molecule glucagon receptor antagonist for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition, the company is involved in the sale of Captisol materials. Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Current Price: $108.13
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $166.50 (54.0% Upside)

#5 - Calix (NYSE:CALX)

Calix logo

Calix (NYSE: CALX) For investors who are intrigued by small-cap stocks, Calix presents an intriguing opportunity. Calix is a $330 million player in the highly competitive telecom sector, providing broadband communications systems and software as well as developing and selling hardware and software. The stock has tumbled over 60% since February and is currently trading below $7 per share. Part of the reason for the drop may be explained in two words: inconsistent earnings. The stock beat the consensus estimates in the third quarter of 2018, only to fall below estimates in the fourth quarter. The performance of this stock is reflected by stock analysts. The consensus rating of six analysts is a hold. However, whereas sometimes a hold rating can be seen as a sell signal, this rating was accompanied by a price target of $10.75, which would be significantly higher than its current price. One of the most significant insider buys was from one of the company’s directors, Daniel Plants, who invested nearly $160,000 in the company’s stock.



About Calix
Calix, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides cloud and software platforms, systems and services required to deliver the unified access network. The company's cloud and software platforms, systems, and services enable communication service providers (CSP) to provide a range of services, from basic voice and data to advanced broadband services, over legacy and next-generation access networks. Its premises systems allow CSPs to master the complexity of the smart home and business, and offer services to their device-enabled subscribers. The company offers Calix Cloud, an analytics platform that leverages network data and subscriber behavioral data to deliver intelligence to communications professionals via role specific dashboards; Calix Marketing Cloud that enables marketers to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing and deliver personalized campaigns; Calix Support Cloud; EXOS, a carrier class premises operating system and software platform that supports residential, business, and mobile subscribers; and AXOS, a software platform built for the specific needs of the access network. The company markets its products in the United States, the Middle East, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and internationally through its direct sales force and resellers. Calix, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

Current Price: $7.16
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 2 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $8.50 (18.7% Upside)

#6 - J.B. Hunt Transportation Services (NASDAQ:JBHT)

J B Hunt Transport Services logo

J.B. Hunt Transportation Services (NASDAQ: JBHT) - One of the largest trucking firms in the United States, J.B. Hunt has seen its stock ride a roller coaster in 2019. The stock started the year on a tear climbing over 20% in the first month and a half. Since then it has given up all those gains and then some. Off of a miss in their first-quarter earnings report, analysts have given the stock a consensus “hold” rating with a 12-month price target of $113.81. However, included within these recommendations are analysts (including Deutsche Bank and Zacks Investment Research) who have downgraded the stock. When it comes to insider buying, president and CEO John Roberts purchased nearly $200,000 of the company stock as recently as May 28th. Earlier in the month, a director of the company made a $700,000 investment in the company. At issue seems to be a tug of war between a camp that believes the trucking industry is in danger of a recession due to the ongoing trade dispute with China and other factions that see JBHT’s strength in intermodal shipping. The Dow Transports Index, of which JBHT is a part, is down by more than the Dow Industrials YTD.



About J B Hunt Transport Services
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides surface transportation and delivery services in the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico. It operates in four segments: Intermodal (JBI), Dedicated Contract Services (DCS), Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS), and Truckload (JBT). The JBI segment offers intermodal freight solutions, including origin and destination pickup, and delivery services. It operates 88,739 pieces of company-owned trailing equipment; owns and maintains its own chassis fleet of 81,442 units; and manages a fleet of 5,017 company-owned tractors, 633 independent contractor trucks, and 6,208 company drivers. The DCS segment designs, develops, and executes supply-chain solutions that support various transportation networks. As of December 31, 2018, it operated 9,652 company-owned trucks, 412 customer-owned trucks, and 51 independent contractor trucks, as well as 20,344 owned pieces of trailing equipment and 6,366 customer-owned trailers. The ICS segment offers traditional freight brokerage and transportation logistics solutions; and flatbed, refrigerated, expedited, and less-than-truckload solutions, as well as various dry-van and intermodal solutions. It also provides single-source logistics management for customers that desire to outsource their transportation functions. This segment operates 44 remote sales offices or branches. The JBT segment offers full-load and dry-van freight services by utilizing tractors operating over roads and highways. As of December 31, 2018, it operated 1,139 company-owned tractors. The company also transports or arranges for the transportation of freight, including general merchandise, specialty consumer items, appliances, forest and paper products, food and beverages, building materials, soaps and cosmetics, automotive parts, agricultural products, electronics, and chemicals. J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. was incorporated in 1961 and is headquartered in Lowell, Arkansas.

Current Price: $115.26
Consensus Rating: Hold
Ratings Breakdown: 3 Buy Ratings, 13 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $111.19 (-3.5% Upside)

#7 - Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP)

Advance Auto Parts logo

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP) After a disappointing 2018 that saw same-store sales decline by 2.3%, Advance Auto Parts is on the rebound. The company is projecting a growth in same-store sales of between 1% and 2.5% with strong gross margins that when combined with rising sales is a sign of strength. Analysts seem to agree. Eleven analysts have a consensus rating of strong buy with a consensus price target of $190.71. This would represent an almost 25% increase from the stock’s current level which is just under $150 per share. The stock is down over 15% since April 2019 and remains in a tight range despite issuing an earnings report that beat both top line and bottom line estimates. This may be a case of the stock just needing some time to catch up as the ex-dividend date for its July 5, 2019 dividend has just passed. In 2018, two company insiders purchased nearly 10,000 shares.



About Advance Auto Parts
Advance Auto Parts, Inc. provides automotive replacement parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items for domestic and imported cars, vans, sport utility vehicles, and light and heavy duty trucks. The company offers battery accessories, belts and hoses, brakes and brake pads, chassis and climate control parts, clutches and drive shafts, engines and engine parts, exhaust systems and parts, hub assemblies, ignition components and wires, radiators and cooling parts, starters and alternators, and steering and alignment parts. It also offers air conditioning chemicals and accessories, air fresheners, antifreeze and washer fluids, electrical wires and fuses, electronics, floor mats, seat covers, interior accessories, hand and specialty tools, lighting products, performance parts, sealants, adhesives and compounds, tire repair accessories, vent shades, mirrors and exterior accessories, washes, waxes and cleaning supplies, and wiper blades. In addition, the company offers air filters, fuel and oil additives, fuel filters, grease and lubricants, motor oils, oil filters, part cleaners and treatments, and transmission fluids for engine maintenance. Further, it offers battery and wiper installation, battery charging, engine light reading checking, electrical system testing, video clinic, oil and battery recycling, and loaner tool program services. Additionally, the company sells its products through its Website. It serves professional installers and do-it-yourself customers. As of December 29, 2018, the company operated 4,966 stores and 143 branches under the Advance Auto Parts, Autopart International, Carquest, and Worldpac brand names in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada; and served 1,231 independently owned Carquest branded stores in Mexico, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Islands. Advance Auto Parts, Inc. was founded in 1929 and is based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Current Price: $165.79
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 13 Buy Ratings, 4 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $183.27 (10.5% Upside)

The seven stocks in this presentation are just a sample of the stocks that show evidence of insider buying every day. Insider buying information is available to the investing public. As mentioned in the introduction, company insiders of U.S. companies are required to file their insider buying activity with the SEC in what is called a Form 4 filing. These filings can be found on the SEC’s EDGAR database. However, if you would prefer not to comb through an entire list of companies that are engaging in insider buying, there are many public databases, including MarketBeat All Access, that provide daily listings of the stock’s that are showing insider buying activity. One advantage of sites such as these is that investors can sort companies in many ways including by market cap, sector, or by ranking buying activity from the companies that are most active to those that are least active. Canadian companies are also required to make public disclosure of insider buying on the country’s System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders (SEDI). Investors can look at sites such as MarketBeat.com for a list of the companies that are listed on the SEDI database.



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