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Insider Buying Jumps as Market Continues Record Run: Arconic, NuStar Energy, Coty, Rent-A-Center and More

Lee Jackson

Despite a wobbly Friday, the markets again put together incredible runs last week, the likes of which haven’t been seen since 1987. One thing remained clear as we checked our insider transactions screens this week at 24/7 Wall St.: The buying is much more solid than during earnings season, but it has slowed volume-wise as the market continues its push higher.

We cover insider buying each week at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind readers that while insider buying is usually a very positive sign, it is not in of itself a reason to run out and buy a stock. Sometimes insiders and 10% owners have stock purchase plans set up at intervals to add to their holdings. That aside, it still remains an overall positive indicator.

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Here are some of the companies that reported notable insider buying last week.

Hedge fund Elliott Associates continued its pursuit of shares of Arconic Inc. (ARNC). The fund again bought stock in this maker of engineered products for aerospace and other markets this past week, a total of 2,150,000 shares. The shares were acquired at prices that ranged from $29.78 to $30.36 apiece. The total for the buys was a stunning $65 million. The shares closed last Friday at $29.32. The 52-week trading range for the shares is $16.75 to $30.69. The Wall Street consensus price target is $27.40.

Jamba Inc. (JMBA) had a member of the board buying its shares last week. The director picked up a total of 120,200 shares at prices that ranged from $9.77 to $9.87. The total for the trade was posted at $1 million. Shares of the well-known Jamba Juice restaurants operator closed Friday at $9.75, in a 52-week range of $9.08 to $13.82. The consensus price objective is $11.50.

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Another board member was busy buying shares of NuStar Energy L.P. (NS) last week. The director at the oil and gas master limited partnership bought a block of 20,000 shares at $54.03 apiece. The total for the trade was set at $1 million. This looks bullish for shareholders as the stock closed Friday at $52.75, and this purchase is near the highs. The 52-week trading range is $33.10 to $55.64, and the consensus price target is $54.

The CEO at fragrance and makeup giant Coty Inc. (COTY) was busy buying stock last week. Camillo Pane acquired a total of 72,350 shares of the company at prices that ranged from $19.40 to $19.67. The total for the buy was posted at $1.5 million. But shares ended the week at $18.66. The 52-week range is $17.94 to $31.60, and the consensus price target is $20.65.

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Rent-A-Center Inc. (RCII) had the interim CEO, who is also the chairman of the board, buying shares last week. Mark Speese bought a block of 100,000 shares of the company at a price of $8.45. The total for the purchase was posted right at $900,000. The stock closed last Friday at $8.64, so a good sign for shareholders. The 52-week range is $7.76 to $16.37, and the consensus price target is $8.75.

These companies also reported insider buying last week: American Assets Trust Inc. (AAT), American Express Co. (AXP), Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), PJT Partners Inc. (PJT) and Snyder's-Lance Inc. (LNCE).

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It comes as little surprise that insider selling has been active of late, with big sales at the likes of Microsoft, Broadcom and PepsiCo.

Needless to say, the selling volume will swamp the buyers with the markets at these levels, but for companies that are seeing buying, which in a few cases this week was at 52-week lows, that is a clear positive for shareholders.

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