Corporate insiders – company officers, board members, and hedge fund managers – are known to be careful about how they allocate their funds. After all, they are charged not just with running a company, but also with managing other people’s money; they have to be careful, or their shareholders will hold them accountable. So, when these insiders start making ‘informative buys,’ that is, buying out of pocket rather than cashing in expired options or adjusting holding amounts for tax purposes, the transactions are worth watching.
We’ve turned to TipRanks -- a Financial Accountability Engine that measures and ranks insiders based on their performance -- to look at the Top 25 Corporate Insiders, and find out what some of them are buying. The results are interesting.
Three insiders, holding the number 4, 5, and 6 spots, have made recent informative purchases. None of the stocks involved is a big name, and none have attracted extensive analyst attention. Let’s pop the hood on these stocks, and see why these top insiders are feeling bullish.
Entercom Communications (ETM)
The Buggles famously sang, in the first music video aired on MTV, that ‘video killed the radio star.’ That was almost forty years ago, and while radio is not the dominant media force it once was, it is far from dead. Entercom is a major player in the radio broadcasting industry – its 235 stations in 48 separate media markets make it the second largest radio broadcast company in the US. And radio remains lucrative – ETM brought in $1.46 billion in revenue in 2018.
David Field, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Entercom is clearly in a position to know about the stock’s likely future position. He is also the #4 rated insider in TipRanks database, with an 81% success rate when buying ETM stock and an eye-opening 253% average return on his purchases. In his last informative purchase, back in May of this year, he loaded up with 30,000 shares in a transaction totaling $175,000.
While this transaction has not yet yielded a profit, it’s interesting to note that 3-star analyst Steven Cahall, of Wells Fargo, initiated coverage of the stock earlier this fall, setting a Hold rating and a $4 price target. In his comments on the stock, Cahall wrote, “Having come through a bumpy integration period with CBS Radio, Entercom has left investor nerves frayed... We think sentiment can improve with a few quarters of putting points on the board. As such, we are initiating coverage with a Market Perform rating…” He added, “…we believe a good deal of the stock volatility can be tied back to the merger. The integration is a huge management undertaking, and, to its credit, synergies are exceeding expectations.” Even though he recommends a Hold, Cahall’s price target suggests an upside potential of 11% for this stock. (To watch Cahall's track record, click here)
Overall, ETM has a Moderate Buy, but the consensus is based on just two rating, one Buy and one Hold. The stock sells for $3.59, and the average target price of $4.88 indicates an upside potential of 35%. (See Entercom stock analysis on TipRanks)
Gray Television (GTN)
Radio was largely superseded by television; Gray is a mid-sized player in the TV broadcasting industry. Gray owns 145 stations in the US, with a focus on small- and medium-sized markets. That there is profit in the small TV broadcast network is clear from Gray’s $1.08 billion in annual revenue and 2018 net income of $211 million.
Back in August, Harriet Robinson, a ten percent shareholder in Gray, spent $112,000 buying up an additional 7,500 shares of the stock. She purchased at a price of $14.91 per share, so the stock’s current price of $17.37 represents a 16% profit on her purchase. In cash terms, her August purchase is now worth slightly more than $130,000. Overall, Robinson has a 79% success rate with her GTN purchases, and an average profit on the stock, since taking her first position, of 127%.
From an analyst perspective, GTN is getting attention on the buy side. Wells Fargo’s Steven Cahall, quoted above, says, “The stock has pulled back considerably since last spring because of worse than expected ad guide, but its financial outlook has not changed meaningfully. We believe that expected 2020-21 revenue will be around 50% from retrans and political, and see the core ad pull back as an opportunistic entry point.” In short, this is the time to initiate coverage of this stock, because the low share price represents a good time to buy. Cahall gives it a $21 price target, implying a robust upside of 21%.
GTN has a Strong Buy analyst consensus, with 4 Buys given in the last three months. The average price target of $24.25 suggests an upside potential of nearly 40% from the share price of $17.49. (See Gray Television stock analysis on TipRanks)
Corbus Pharmaceuticals (CRBP)
Corbus, a $335 million pharmaceutical company, is taking advantage of the opening up the cannabis industry. It focuses on development and marketing of new treatments and therapies for fibrotic and inflammatory diseases, using the endocannabinoid system-targeting synthetic drugs. In addition to the company’s leading product candidate, lenabasum, Corbus has more than 600 new endocannbinoid compounds in its research pipeline.
A pharma company, with a marketable research line in a hot segment of the industry, is sure to catch interest from everyone, and Corbus CFO Sean Moran. He’s purchased 5,600 shares of the stock since May of last year, and has shown a 123% profit on his buys so far. Corbus is not the only company in which Moran makes insider purchases, but it does constitute 91% of his insider holdings. It also has the highest average return of his insider stock holdings.
Chiming in on CRBP is RBC Capital’s 4-star analyst Brian Abrahams. Abrahams sees plenty of room for upside in this stock, after meeting with the upper management team early last month. He wrote on October 8, after the meeting, “We had the opportunity to spend time with CRBP's mgmt team… the company remains enthusiastic about the commercial prospects and potential partnership opportunities. We believe that as we enter 2020 and these catalysts continue to approach, the market will begin to better appreciate their multiple shots on goal and large market opportunity…” In line with his upbeat outlook, Abrahams set a $23 price target on CRBP, suggesting a whopping 341% upside potential. (To watch Abrahams' track record, click here)
CRBP has not picked up much analyst attention in recent months, but it’s worth noting that Abraham’s recently reiterated $23 price target represents the low end of the outlook for this stock. Shares are priced at just $5.28, so the average target of $23.50 gives it a potential upside of 343%. Clearly, this cannabis-based pharmaceutical company is giving reason for optimism.
To find other good ideas for stocks trading at fair value or better, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy tool, a newly launched feature that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.