3 Stocks Flashing Signs of Strong Insider Buying
Not every stock worth buying makes great waves in the markets, and the big names are hardly the only names in town. But you may have to dig to find some of these stocks – they are smaller companies, and don’t attract the extensive analyst attention or press coverage that powers them to the top of the search engines.Finding them, however, can be worthwhile. Some of these are true penny stocks, offering double-digit upside potential combined with low costs of entry, while others offer solid share appreciation as they bounce back from the recent market swoon. One signal to look for: stocks with insider buying. Corporate officers – “insiders” – are charged with bringing results to shareholders, and they have access to company performance information before the rest of us. So, when they start buying up shares in their own companies, investors should take notice.TipRanks’ Insiders’ Hot Stocks tool shows which stocks top insiders are most active on, for both purchases and sales. You can sort insider trades by a variety of filters, including trading strategy. We’ve done some of the legwork for you, and pulled up three stocks with recent informative buy-side transactions.Party City Holdco (PRTY)We’ll start with Party City, the holding company whose subsidiaries makeup North America’s largest chain of retain party-goods stores. Taking its four brands together, Party City has 850 company-owned or franchised locations across the US, Canada, and Mexico. In addition to its own chain of stores, Party City manufactures a wide range of party goods to distribution by retailers around the world. Party City reported several points of good news as it rebounds from the recent economic downturn. The company notes that all of its own chain stores had reopened, as of June 22. In recent weeks, the company has also reset its capital position, turning over more than 84% of its existing debt notes. Earnings and revenues both declined through 1H20, but the company has $290 million in available liquidity to lean on as normal operations resume.Shares in PRTY are down, and have been ever since the market fell back in February. The stock is trading at $2 per share, down almost 50% in the current cycle. Insiders, however, see the low price as a time to buy – in recent days, there have been two major insider purchases. The more recent, by Board member Norman Matthews, who bought 250,000 shares on Aug 21. Matthews shelled out $500,000 for the stock. Earlier this month, stakeholder Clifford Sosin spent a total of $2.54 million on three separate purchases, picking up over 1.38 million shares to add to his block.Credit Suisse analyst Seth Sigman has given the sole review on record for Party City. He sees a retailer with a strong position to emerge from a downturn.“June and July trends… have turned positive, indicating an improvement in demand and the benefits from numerous strategic initiatives incl. rolling out new omni-channel options. While there is uncertainty ahead around big social/ seasonal events (Halloween), we see a company executing at a higher level, and addressing prior merchandising and operational issues, which we believe will elevate the model and set the company up for stronger results in FY21+,” Sigman noted.Sigman’s $4 price target on the stock backs his Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating, and suggests a 57% upside potential for PRTY over the coming 12 months. (To watch Sigman’s track record, click here)Live Oak Bancshares (LOB)Next up is Live Oak Bancshares, another holding company. LOB is the owner of Live Oak Bank, a small-business focused loan bank based in North Carolina. Live Oak specializes in business loans backed by the Federal Government, through the Small Business Administration. The bank does not operate formal branches, but in addition to North Carolina, it has offices in Georgia, Florida, and California.After a corona-related earnings dip in Q1, LOB saw gains at the both the top and bottom lines in the second quarter. Q2 EPS came in at 9 cents per share, up 28 cents sequentially. The quarterly revenues of $65.6 million were higher than the pre-corona fourth quarter result. The Q3 earnings forecast, of 28 cents per share, will, if met, be the highest earnings since Q3 2018.The rapid turnaround in revenue and earnings is reflected in the stock’s share performance. LOB is up 155% since the market collapse of March. With the stock turning so sharply upward, it’s no wonder that there is insider interest in buying. Company CEO James Mahan this month has picked up over 100,000 shares, paying out almost $1.99 million for the stock. Mahan’s purchase, along with two lesser insider buys, have given a positive tilt to LOB’s insider sentiment.Truist analyst Jennifer Demba sees Live Oak in a unique position for near-term gains. The bank’s no-branch model has proven a boon during the virus shutdowns, and its investments in digital technology left it preadapted to thrive in the current environment. She writes, “Small business borrowers are receiving unprecedented assistance, LOB’s capital and reserves are very strong and the company is seeing more competitive opportunities. As digital banking adoption and the need for better bank technology accelerates, LOB’s fintech investments could still yield significant upside over the medium-long term.”Live Oak has only Demba’s review on file record recently. Her Buy rating is supported by a $23 price target that suggests a 12% upside for the stock. (To watch Demba’s track record, click here)Casper Sleep (CSPR)Last on our list is Casper Sleep, a retailer of mattresses and other sleep products. Casper sells both through retailers and online, direct to the customer. The company has seen stable revenues and rising earnings through the corona virus crisis of 1H20. Casper’s Q2 results came in with a 15% increase in revenues, to $110 million. The company’s held $98 million in cash at the end of quarter, and reported a narrowing of the net loss by $2.7 million, to its lowest level yet. Quarterly EPS, while at negative 53 cents, was 29% better than the expected EPS loss of 75 cents.Earlier this month, Casper announced that four major retailers will start carrying the company’s products: Sam’s Club, Ashley HomeStore, Denver Mattress, and Mathis Brothers. With this announcement, Casper’s mattresses are now available through 5 of the country’s top 10 mattress retailers.In recent days, the company’s CEO, CSO, and CPO have all made substantial purchases, giving CSPR strongly positive insider sentiment. The largest purchase was for $144,000, by CEO Krim Philip. His purchase added 15,000 shares to his existing holdings.5-star analyst Robert Drbul, from Guggenheim, sees Casper in an enviable position for a retailer: “We continue to believe Casper is well positioned within its industry and from a flexibility standpoint (large e-commerce business, relatively low store count, strong retail partnerships, high variable costs, limited debt today, current solid liquidity position) […] Casper is gaining share in a relatively strong North America mattress category (increased consumer focus on the home during COVID), reflecting a strong brand and resonating product.”Drbul’s $11 price target implies an 20% upside for the stock, and supports his Buy rating. (To watch Drbul’s track record, click here)Overall, Casper has 6 recent reviews, evenly split between 3 Buys and 3 Holds, giving the stock a Moderate Buy analyst consensus rating. Shares are selling for $9.16, and the $10.33 average price target suggests it has a 13% upside for the coming year. (See CSPR stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.This article was originally posted on TipRanks.