Insiders are Buying While These 3 Stocks are Down

The stock market’s impressive climb to fresh all-time highs in 2021 coincided with a record of a different sort. Insider stock sales topped $170 billion for the first time last year as company executives, board members, and influential institutions took advantage of favorable prices and profits.

Flip the calendar to 2022 and the market is singing to the beat of a different tune. Inflation concerns and worries about the pace of Fed rate hikes have put equities in an early hole that badly deepened last week.

While caution and defensive portfolio positioning reign supreme these days, insiders and outsiders alike remain in search of where bargain stock prices are developing. In the case of insiders, there has been some telling buying activity especially within sectors that have been hardest hit by the January downturn.

These are three of the most buzzworthy insider buys for investors to keep on their radar.

What Stock Has Been Most Bought by Insiders This Year?

More insider money has been poured into Asana (NYSE: ASAN) than any other stock over the last 30 days. The $153.5 million in buying has been entirely at the hands of CEO Dustin Moskovitz who added 2.5 million shares of the workflow software provider during than span.

The executive’s recent activity follows a pattern of heavy buying in the fourth quarter of 2021 when net insider buying totaled $247 million. Based on the acceleration of the purchases being made by Mr. Moskovitz, the figure could easily get eclipsed by the time the first quarter concludes. Over the last two weeks, his purchase amounts have increased as Asana’s share price has declined. On January 20th, the CEO poured nearly $68 million into the stock to bring his direct ownership above 14 million shares.

If there ever was a show of confidence in a beaten-up technology stock this is it. After going on a huge run that was supported by increasing adoption of software solutions for remote work setups, the stock has been pummeled by worries about a growth slowdown and more recently the impact of rising yields on highflying tech companies. But with insiders (and mostly the CEO) in control of more than half of the outstanding shares, signs of a potential recovery are mounting.

Are Insiders Buying Thor Industries Stock?

The recent insider buying in Thor Industries (NYSE: THO) stands out because multiple executives have been scooping up the recreational vehicle (RV) maker during its recent slide. Three board members have completed purchases in the last 30 days including Peter Busch Orthwein who accumulated nearly $1 million of the stock on January 14th.

We refer to this as a triple insider buy because it signifies buys of the same company at the hands of three or more insiders in a narrow time frame. A testament to how unusual this event is, only three triple insider buys have occurred in the past month.

In the case of Thor Industries, it was the purest buying activity seen in the stock since 2019. By this we mean actual insider purchases as opposed to when insiders are granted shares as part of their compensation agreement.

Thor Industries became one of the biggest consumer cyclical stock winners post-Covid due to rising interest in road trip getaways via RV. Lately the wheels have started to come off as more muted demand and supply chain disruptions have limited sales. Optimistic insiders, however, are hopping on the bandwagon and hoping other investors come along for the ride.

Who is Buying Warby Parker Stock?

Online prescription glasses retailer Warby Parker (NYSE: WRBY) has a limited history in the public markets since it had a direct listing in late-September 2021. Yet it has already been the subject of some of the biggest insider trading with the heavy hand of an inside institutional investor responsible for much of the stir.

Maryland-based investment group Durable Capital Partners has been loading up on Warby Parker shares since the NYSE first opened for business in 2022. Over the course of nine trading days, the insider has purchased more than $80 million as the e-commerce player got hit by the market’s attack on unprofitable companies. It now owns nearly 12.5 million, or 12%, of the outstanding shares making it major mover and shaker.

As Warby Parker went the direct listing route, it did not offer the public any new shares, but rather the shares of existing shareholders. As such its shareholders are not bound by the lockup period associated with most IPOs which is typically 180 days. This means that the stock won’t face near-term selling pressure at the hands of insiders that are suddenly free to dump shares.

This should alleviate investors’ concerns about getting in at the wrong time and enhance the value of the recent insider buying. Although not even insiders have 20/20 vision when it comes to the stocks they intimately know, there is one prominent institution that sees better times ahead for Warby Parker.

Originally published on InsiderTrades.com

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