One of the best ways to spot potential opportunities is by tracking insider buying. Insiders are company executives and people who own more than 10% of a company.
After all, these are the people that know the company inside and out. If they’re buying, it’s a confidence boost for the stock. Also, according to Investopedia.com, “A 2003 study by Harvard University’s Leslie A. Jeng and Richard Zeckhauser and Yale University’s Andrew Metrick found that insider purchases beat the market by 11.2% per year.”
While I’d never buy a stock based on insider buying alone, tracking insiders – especially those with good success – can provide us with a good starting point.
Insider Buying: Starbucks Corp. (SBUX)
In May, CEO Howard Schultz bought 210,000 shares of Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX) for just under $15 million after the stock fell from a high of about $90 to less than $72.50.
At $72.50 SBUX clearly was oversold. Since then, the stock has recovered to about $80 a share. From here, I’d like to see it refill its bearish gap around $92.50 in the near-term.
The company is about to reopen 600 Shanghai stores after a wave of shutdowns. Also, after a bunch of price downgrades, Evercore ISI analyst David Palmer upgraded the SBUX stock to “Outperform” with a $95 price target.
The analyst “admits that over the next two quarters, investors will likely have to deal with messy results from ongoing softness in China and Starbucks’ increased reinvestment in its business. But ‘by the September investor day and the Fall appointment of a new CEO, Starbucks will likely be able to share some stabilization in China trends, ongoing improvement in US same-store sales and a plan to improve its efficiency and capacity,” as noted by Barron’s.
CSX Corp. (CSX)
In May, Director James Wainscott picked up 10,000 shares of CSX Corp. (NASDAQ:CSX) for $332,500.
That was after the stock plummeted from about $38 a share.
The company beat earnings, with EPS of 39 cents on sales of $3.41 billion, as compared to expectations for 37 cents on $3.31 billion in sales. CSX also approved a 10-cent quarterly dividend, payable June 15 for shareholders of record as of May 31.
From a current price of $30.05, I’d like to see the CSX stock initially refill its bearish gap to around $33.66. I’d like to see the stock challenge triple top resistance around $38 over the longer term.
In April, Chief Financial Officer Celso Goncalves bought 4,000 shares of Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE:CLF) for just over $105,000.
Executive Vice President Keith Koci also bought a total of 9,100 shares for just over $222,000 between April and May. That was after the FCX stock dipped from about $34 to less than $25 a share.
Just as impressive, earnings crushed expectations. For the first quarter, the company posted adjusted EPS of $1.71 on $6 billion in sales. Meanwhile, analysts were looking for $1.46 on $5.4 billion in sales.
“Our first-quarter results are a clear indication of the success we have been able to achieve as we renewed our fixed-price contracts last year,” said CEO Lourenco Goncalves, as quoted in a company press release. “Despite the decline in spot prices for steel from Q4 to Q1 and its lagged impact on our results, we were able to continue to deliver strong profitability.”
Insider Buying: Uber Technologies (UBER)
Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) CEO Dara Khosrowshahi just bought 200,000 shares of the stock at an average price of $26.73.
Uber said revenue grew more than twofold from a year earlier to $6.85 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected revenue of $6.09 billion.
Revenue was also helped by high ride prices,” as noted by The Wall Street Journal.
Barclays analyst Ross Sandler raised the firm’s price target to $53 from $48, with an Overweight rating.
“The company may be a major beneficiary of a recession with driver supply easing and the ‘implosion in private market funding markets as lots of tier-two competitors fall by the wayside,’” TheFly.com quoted Sandler.
United Airlines Holdings (UAL)
United Airlines Holdings (NASDAQ:UAL) Director Edward Shapiro just bought 50,000 shares of the stock for just above $2.3 million.
While the stock is still taking a hit along with the broader market, the company said it does expect for passenger revenue to jump about 25% from 2019 numbers, as noted by Barron’s contributor Joe Woelfel.
That’s also above the company’s prior forecast for a 17% increase.
According to a United Airlines’ press release United Airlines expects to return to profitability in the second quarter. It expects total revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) of approximately 17% over 2019. The company also expects to earn around a 10% operating margin.
Insider Buying: Best Buy (BBY)
After plunging from $97.50, Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) founder Richard Schulze bought about 250,000 shares for $20 million.
As noted by Barron’s contributor Ed Lin, Schulze’s bought shares, “due to the market’s overreaction to consumer stocks in the recent market selloff. Best Buy’s P/E trading range created a value opportunity that couldn’t be ignored.”
DA Davidson analyst Michael Baker recently raised his price target on BBY to $110 from $107, with a “Buy” rating. While he notes the company missed on earnings and cut guidance in recent weeks, he also believes the second half of the year should be better.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH)
After sinking from about $23 to $11.55, keep an eye on Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE:NCLH). In late May, Chairman Russell Galbut picked up 100,000 shares for $1.5 million.
Also, while the company recently posted a wider than expected loss, NCLH has a strong booking outlook. In its most recent quarter, NCLH posted an adjusted loss of $1.82 a share, which was wider than expectations for $1.54.
Revenue jumped to $521.9 million from $3.1 million year over year. However, analysts were looking for $737.5 million. Fortunately, the company is seeing an improvement in bookings, with advanced ticket sales back up to $2.2 billion.
On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.