While monitoring insider purchases of widely-held stocks, there was a bit of a lull in the action in early January. As the market has since pulled back, there has been a pickup in insider buying among well-known companies in recent weeks. Here are four more stocks that the insiders love right now.
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Over the course of the past couple of weeks, two officers for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) purchased more than $650,000 worth of VZ shares at a price range of $28.79 to $29.26. These purchases are compelling given the 13% pullback in Verizon shares so far this year and the stock's 6.7% dividend yield.
Last month, the company reported an 11.5% slide in adjusted EPS on a 9.9% improvement in operating revenue. Verizon is hoping that its partnership with Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) will serve as a basis for further growth for the company's wireless business. In November, the company introduced two Android-based devices which could serve as a bridge to the future.
A Legg Up
Earlier this week, Joseph Sullivan, an officer for Legg Mason (NYSE:LM), purchased more than $300,000 worth of LM shares at $24.65 per share. Legg Mason has seen a slew of insider buys over the past few months. Shares of LM have retreated 12.9% since the beginning of the year.
In just the last week, a director for the medical device maker St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) made a $375,000 purchase of SJM shares. The purchase was made when the stock was trading at $37.50 and came despite some insider selling taking place in the surrounding days.
On Monday, a Goldman Sachs analyst noted that he thought consensus estimates for St. Jude's sales and EPS projections are too optimistic. The analyst also revised his 12 month price targets downward for Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT). An outlook calling for slow growth for implantable cardioverter defibrillators led to this analyst's bearish sentiment on STJ, BSX and MDT.
A Cool Mil
A fourth notable company that has seen insider buying is the chemical company FMC (NYSE:FMC). Pierre Brondeau, who became CEO and president at the beginning of the year, recently purchased $1 million worth of FMC's common stock in a range of $53.57 to $53.88 per share. Shares of FMC climbed 25.8% last year, but have remained flat so far in 2010.
The Bottom Line
The uptick in insider buying during market pullbacks should not come as a major surprise. It stands to reason that those closest to a company's operations should have a better idea than most as to when its shares have become oversold. These four sets of transactions could now be pointing to stocks that have become undervalued. (Learn more behind insider trading, Uncovering Insider Trading).
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