When looking for new investment ideas, following corporate insider activity can provide valuable insights. A large buy from someone with in depth knowledge of the company might indicate that a stock is set to outperform. Insider buys can also impact share prices. After two directors purchased shares of Cars.com Inc. (CARS) on August 13, the stock surged 3%.
We used all of the above strategies to find 3 hot services stocks insiders are buying.
Red Rock Resorts Inc. (RRR)
Red Rock Resorts is a gaming, management and development company. It’s best known for operating casinos in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada.
On August 8 and 9, Directors Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta III purchased 760,000 shares of RRR at an average price of 18.61 per share. They now own 66% of the company, with the buy costing more than $14 million. The buy sent shares up 2%.
The purchase comes shortly after the company reported a second quarter revenue beat combined with an earnings miss on August 6. Despite mixed results from its second quarter, management maintains that its newly renovated Palms casino is on track to generate a strong high-single-digit return next year.
Mutual fund manager, Ron Baron, sees the casino as an important catalyst for the company. “Its Palms casino should generate more cash flow, which we expect Red Rock to use to pay down debt and reduce leverage,” he explained.
Carlo Santarelli, a five-star analyst according to TipRanks, agrees that RRR’s Palms casino could drive continuous long-term growth for the company. On August 12, the Deutsche Bank analyst reiterated his Buy rating and $24 price target. He thinks share prices could jump 23% over the next twelve months.
The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic about RRR. It has a ‘Moderate Buy’ analyst consensus and a $28 average price target, suggesting 42% upside potential.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation (CZR)
Caesars is a gaming hotel and casino corporation that operates more than 50 properties as well as seven golf courses.
Following a disappointing earnings release on August 5, hedge fund guru, Carl Icahn, increased his stake in the company by 15 million shares, making him a 17% owner. At an average share price of $8.45, the buy set him back $126.8 million.
Despite posting a greater loss than analysts originally predicted, revenue did increase 5% from the prior-year quarter to reach $2 billion. Management highlighted Centaur as well as the strength of its Las Vegas hotel and food and beverage businesses as the key drivers of revenue growth. CZR is also expecting to get a boost after its $17 billion merger with Eldorado Resorts (ERI) is finalized.
“As we work toward successful completion of the proposed merger with Eldorado Resorts, the management team and I remain focused on improving the company's operations and financial profile through incremental revenue opportunities and operating efficiencies,” CEO Tony Rodio added.
It should be noted that Icahn pushed the company to oust former CEO Mark Frissora and replace him with the more deal-oriented Rodio.
Santarelli, who also covers CZR, agrees that its strong fundamentals and prospects from its ERI merger make it a compelling buy. On August 7, he maintained his Buy rating and $13 price target. The price target implies share prices could gain 12% over the next twelve months.
CZR has a ‘Moderate Buy’ analyst consensus and an average price target of $12, indicating 7% upside potential.
Dish Network (DISH)
The TV provider has struggled in the past to compete with streaming platforms such as Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu that have threatened its core business. However, it has made significant progress in its efforts to compete with its Sling TV service that allows customers to stream live TV channels.
Corporate insiders believe that these efforts will ultimately pay off. From August 5-7, DISH’s Chairman and co-founder, Charles Ergen, bought 500,005 shares at an average price of $31.28 per share. The $15.7 million purchase cemented his standing as a more than 10% owner of the company as well as sent shares soaring by 4%.
While DISH reported on July 29 that its second quarter saw a loss of 31,000 subscribers, Ergen sees potential coming from its foray into the wireless business. On July 24, the company announced that it will acquire $5 billion worth of assets from T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S). The assets include both the Boost Mobile segment of the business and spectrum assets.
CEO Erik Carlson explained, “The wireless deal set us in a clear course to become a fourth wireless providers of the nation, and it’s going to happen quickly. I’m confident in our grafted fundamentals and I'm certainly confident in our ability to execute.”
Five-star analyst, Colby Synesael, believes that this acquisition can give DISH the advantage it needs to compete. On July 30, he reiterated his Buy rating and raised the price target from $57 to $58. This move suggests that share prices could increase by a whopping 80% over the next twelve months. The Cowen & Co. analyst boasts an 82% success rate and gets an average return of 18% per rating.
The TV provider is one of the riskier stocks on our list. It has a ‘Hold’ analyst consensus and a $37 average price target, suggesting 15% upside potential.