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Insider Buying Slows as Trump Inauguration Takes Center Stage: Kindred Biosciences, Mirati Therapeutics, City Office REIT and More

Lee Jackson

It finally came to a conclusion last Friday. Eighteen of the most brutal months in American political history were concluded as Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. As far as many investors are concerned, it was high time, as the focus now returns to wrapping up fourth-quarter earnings and charting a path for the first quarter and the rest of 2017. One thing seems certain, President Trump will shake things up in Washington, D.C., and that could ultimately affect stocks.

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.

Kindred Biosciences Inc.(KIN) had a 10% owner of the development-stage biopharmaceutical company adding to a position last week. Park West Management bought 1,690,000 shares of the stock at $6.20 apiece. The total for the buy was listed at a whopping $10,478,000.

Kindred Biosciences is focused on the development of therapies for pets. Its product pipeline consists of small molecules and biologics for a range of indications in dogs, cats and horses. Its lead product candidates include Zimeta, a pyrazolone anti-inflammatory drug, for the treatment of fever in horses. The stock closed last Friday at $6.45. The 52-week trading range for the shares is $2.90 to $7.10, and the Wall Street consensus price objective is $7.92.

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A 10% owner of Lawson Products Inc. (LAWS) also added to its shares last week. Dallas-based Luther King Capital Management bought a total of 232,616 shares. At $23.05 per share, the total for the trade came to $5,361,589.

The company's products include fastening systems, specialty chemicals, fluid power products, cutting tools and abrasives, electrical products, aftermarket automotive supplies, safety products, welding and metal repair products, and other products. Its stock closed trading on Friday at $21.95, in a 52-week range of $15.28 to $25.80. The consensus price target is $26.

Also with Professional Diversity Network Inc. (IPDN), a 10% buyer increased its stake last week. Cosmic Forward bought 312,500 shares of this operator of online professional networking communities at a price that was posted at $9.60. The stock closed last Friday at $9.28. The 52-week range is $1.52 to $11.98. The consensus price target is a gigantic $36.

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Mirati Therapeutics Inc. (MRTX) rounds out the companies with a 10% buyer last week. Braslyn bought 119,887 shares of this clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company at $5.50 per share. The total for the purchase was posted at $700,000.

Clinical-stage product candidates at Mirati Therapeutics include MGCD265, a multi-targeted kinase inhibitor that is in Phase 1b clinical development trials for the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer and other solid tumors, The stock closed last Friday at $5.25, in a 52-week range of $4.40 to $26.20. The consensus price target is set at $9.57.

A City Office REIT Inc. (CIO) director picked up some share last week. The director bought 20,161 shares of the equity real estate investment trust at $12.40 apiece. The total for the buy was posted at $300,000. City Office REIT acquires, owns and operates high-quality office properties in the United States. Its shares ended last week at $12.70. They have changed hands in the past year between $10.76 and $13.93. The current consensus price target is $15.17.

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These companies also reported insider buying last week: Destination XL Group Inc. (DXLG), Dorian LPG Ltd. (LPG), Och Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (OZM), Opko Health Inc. (OPK) and Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (SBGI).

Also see the 24/7 Wall St. review of the past week's notable insider selling in Facebook, Netflix and more.

With the election now over, and earnings starting to wind down, we probably will start to see insider buying pick up in February. Many insiders are now still restricted from transactions until the windows to trade open back up.

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