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Tickers in this Article: KFT, CAG, MCD, HAS, AXP, ABT
When researching stocks, I often look more favorably on companies with recent insider buying than those without. People, particularly individuals who are well informed about a company, are unlikely to purchase shares unless they are upbeat about the organization's future prospects.

With that in mind, I recently ran a screen for companies with recent insider buying, and the following are some of the companies and data that came up. Note that I only included well-known names with big market capitalizations. These should provide interested investors with a starting point for further research, but here, we'll dig into just one: Kraft.

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Companies With Insider Interest


Company Market Cap (millions) # of Insider Buyers (12 weeks)*
Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) 71322.94 1
American Express (NYSE:AXP) 28630.17 1
Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) 3312.69 2
KRAFT (NYSE:KFT) 39587.33 6
McDonalds (NYSE:MCD) 63182.73 1
** The number of insider transactions that were buys during the past 12 weeks.

It's the Cheesiest!
When looking at a company like Kraft I think it's important to think big picture. As the world's population continues to grow, the deman for food will only rise. Of course, this doesn't mean that everyone will be grabbing for Kraft mac & cheese, but in developed countries I think the demand for Kraft products will be very strong. And the company already has a big foothold here in the United States.

There are a number of other things to like about the company as well.

The first is its performance on the earnings front. The company missed expectations in the December quarter, but in three of the past four periods, it has either beat or met expectations. I think the company deserves some credit for that given the environment and given that in many cases, consumers might be trying to save money and go with more generic brand food items.

Interestingly, the company also trades at roughly 14 times this year's estimate of $1.92. That's not a remarkable bargain in the traditional sense, but is reasonable in my opinion given that this behemoth of a company (2009 expected revenue of about $40.9 billion) is expected to grow at a healthy 8.5% clip per annum in the next five years. Of course, while I am at it I should point out that ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), another very big name, is trading at about 11.4 times this year's estimate. However, it is expected to grow at a slightly slower rate of 8% per annum in the next five years.

But even beyond those tasty expectations for the bottom line, there is the scrumptious dividend. Although dividends are never guaranteed, the forward yield is right around 4.3%, which is very hard to ignore. Even if the stock remains stuck at the current level because of market forces, this dividend could provide some solace for investors.

Finally, I don't want to forget about the insider buying; 4,700 shares were purchased in May by insiders (directly/indirectly) right around the $25 level. This is no guarantee that these insiders will end up making money, but their apparent confidence does give my confidence a boost.

Bottom Line
Insider buying is not something that I absolutely need to see when researching a stock, but it does provide me with some level of comfort. One company with recent insider buying that particularly strikes my fancy is Kraft. Long-term, I think the stock has the potential to really do well thanks to its foothold in the U.S., its well known brands and the increasing population. (For more, see Delving Into Insider Investments and When Insiders Buy, Should Investors Join Them?)

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