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Insider Buys Of The Week: Crown Castle, Kinder Morgan, Morgan Stanley

Nelson Hem
  • Insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors.
  • An executive board chair continued his share buying this past week.
  • One insider stepped up to the buy window for the first time in years.

Conventional wisdom says that insiders and 10 percent owners really only buy shares of a company for one reason -- they believe the stock price will rise and they want to profit from it. So insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors, particularly with markets at all-time highs.

Here's a look at a few notable insider purchases reported in the past week.

Crown Castle

A Crown Castle International Corp (NYSE: CCI) director last week acquired more than 18,300 shares of this shared communications infrastructure company. At an average of about $123.14 per share, the transactions totaled more than $2.25 million. Note that 9,800 of those shares were purchased via trust for the benefit of family members.

This cell tower owner reported better-than-expected quarterly results earlier this month, which halted a retreat in the share price. The stock rose only marginally in the past week and closed at $113.46. Shares have traded as high as $130.60 in the past 52 weeks.

Kinder Morgan

The Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE: KMI) executive chair of the board, Richard Kinder, has picked up more than 29,600 additional shares of this Houston-based energy infrastructure giant. At prices of about $19.89 per share, last week's transaction totaled almost $590,000. Note that these purchases were pursuant to a 10b5-1 trading plan, and his buying spree stretches back to the beginning of the year.

News of U.S. sanctions on Iran oil buyers helped boost oil prices and oil stocks last week. Kinder Morgan has gained more than 31 percent year-to-date and closed Friday at $20.23, above Kinder's latest purchase price. Shares have traded between $14.62 and $20.44 in the past 52 weeks, but analysts anticipate the price will go to $21.58.

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Morgan Stanley

Recently, a Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) executive picked up 7,000 shares of this financial giant. At prices that ranged from $47.53 to $47.59 per share, that cost the director less than $333,000. It increased his stake to more than 193,000 shares and was his first purchase in eight years, according to Barron's.

Shares are up nearly 21 percent since the beginning of the year, which is better than the S&P 500. The stock ended the past week at $47.89 per share, just above the purchase price range noted above. While the consensus target was last seen at $54.14, the stock has traded as high as $55.64 in the past 52 weeks.

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