Corporate Insiders Pull the Trigger on 3 Buy-Rated Stocks

If you really want to know which stocks the experts – and those in the know – are buying, pay attention to what they’re doing. Stock reports, company reviews, and press statements are helpful, but you’ll get significant information from watching what the insiders are doing.

The insiders – the corporate officers and board members – have to disclose when they snap up shares to prevent any unfair advantages. Tracking their stock purchases can be a useful strategy because if an insider spends their own money on a stock, it could signal that they believe big gains are in store.

Fortunately, TipRanks does just that. TipRanks, a company dedicated to measuring and tracking the performance of Wall Street’s analysts, also follows what the insiders are doing. The Insiders’ Hot Stocks page provides the scoop on which stocks the market’s insiders are buying – or selling – so that you can make informed purchases. We’ve picked three stocks with recent informative buys to show how the data works for you.

Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD)

Midstream energy companies specialize in transporting and storing the oil and natural gas products the extraction companies pull out of the ground. Enterprise operates in the midstream space, controlling natural gas and crude oil pipelines totaling over 49,000 miles. The company also owns storage capacity for 260 million barrels of oil and 14 billion cubic feet of gas, along with multiple import/export terminals on Texas’ Gulf coast.

Lower margins and higher expenses have hurt the company’s bottom line in recent months. The most recent earnings report, released at the end of October for Q3 2019, came in below expectations. EPS was listed at 46 cents per share, below the forecast of 53 cents, while revenues of $7.96 billion were 3% lower than the estimates had called for. Increased volume in natural gas transportation helped to offset some of the decline.

EPD share values managed to shrug off the hit from the Q3 earnings report. Shares have appreciated in recent weeks, and the stock is up 15% this year. While underperforming the general market, those gains are still real – and far exceed the bond markets.

And now we get to EPD’s insider action. In the last three weeks, Randa Duncan Williams, Chairman of the Board at EPD since 2013, has made purchases of EPD stock worth about $46 million. Her purchases are a clear indication of confidence in the stock.

Evercore ISI analyst Dan Walk, in a report on the oil and gas midstream industry earlier this month, reiterated his Buy position on EPD along with his $32 price target. In his comments on the stock, he noted the company’s infrastructure expansion, saying, “Recently-announced M2E3 (450 mbpd capacity) and M2E4 pipelines (450 mbpd initial capacity, expandable to 540 mbpd) should minimize the need for DRA and reduce variable operating costs (~$2/barrel with DRA) in turn. These expansions also provide EPD the flexibility to convert Seminole pipeline (M2E2 crude) back into NGL service, as needed, with minimal capital outlay.” His price target implies a 14% upside to EPD shares. (To watch Walk’s track record, click here)

EPD’s most recent analyst reviews are both Buys, backing the stock’s overall Moderate Buy consensus rating. Shares are priced low, at just $28.18, making this stock an easy entry for investors. The upside is clear, with the $32.50 average price target suggesting 15% growth potential in 2020. (See Enterprise stock analysis on TipRanks)

Sage Therapeutics, Inc. (SAGE)

Biotech companies are popular with investors seeking high upside potential. They operate in a sector with high overhead and initial outlay costs, but the rewards, when a new drug or medical treatment pans out and achieves approval, are substantial. Until then, however, these companies typically operate at a loss and investors depend on share appreciation for returns.

Sage is typical of its peers in this regard. The stock’s Q3 earnings report showed a loss of $3.48 per share, 12 cents worse than the $3.36 expectation. Revenues were also lower than the forecast, at $3.57 million compared to $3.6 million. The company did give some positive guidance, however, stating that it would likely have $950 million in cash and cash equivalents available at the end of the 2019 calendar year.

The Q3 results, while disappointing, were not unusual for the biotech sector. What has really hurt SAGE recently was the release of Phase 3 results for SAGE-217. The drug, targeting major depressive disorder, failed to duplicate the positive results from Phase 2 testing. Company CEO Jeff Jonas said simply, “This study did not meet the primary endpoint.” Sage is continuing testing on SAGE-217, as the company believes the data “supports our hypothesis that SAGE-217 has a unique profile with the potential for rapid and robust onset with durable effect.”

Management has seen the share price hit as a chance to make large buys at a discount, in line with their confidence in the company’s prospects. Jonas, CSO Albert Robichaud, and CFO Kimi Iguchi together purchased more than $2.42 million worth of SAGE shares since the price collapsed.

5-star analyst Matthew Harrison, from Morgan Stanley, is also bullish on SAGE, maintaining his Buy rating in the wake of the stock’s price collapse. He set the price target at $125, lower than his previous target but still indicating room for a 70% upside. Harrison believes the company’s next round of studies will deliver positive results, and writes, “We are encouraged by the manageable tolerability profile and mgt.’s commentary around a higher dose option being attractive in the commercial setting.” (To watch Harrison’s track record, click here)

SAGE shares sell at $73.35, up 22% from the stock’s low point after the collapse on December 5. The average price target, $111.38, suggests a robust upside of 52%, indicating general confidence in the company. That confidence is also seen in the Moderate Buy consensus rating, based on 12 Buys and 6 Holds set in recent weeks. (See Sage Therapeutics stock analysis on TipRanks)

Rocket Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (RCKT)

Rocket focuses on emerging gene therapies, treatments for rare diseases that resist conventional medicine. Rocket’s drug pipeline aims at finding gene and cell therapies to attack diseases at their source, with five drugs targeting a variety of rare metabolic disorders, and mostly in Phase 1 testing. RP-L102, targeting Fanconi anemia, has entered Phase 2 testing, and is the most advanced of Rocket’s products.

Like Sage above, Rocket operates at a net loss. In Q3, the company reported a 38 cent per share loss – but that was 10 cents better than had been expected. It was the third quarter in a row that RCKT had beaten the EPS forecast by a wide margin. Investors are pleased with this performance, as shown by the stock’s 62% 2019 gain.

Looking at the insider activity on RCKT, we see some major moves this year. Earlier this month, RTW Investments, an institutional investor in RCKT and an over 10% owner of the company, purchased over $5 million worth of RCKT shares. This was the firm’s second major purchase of the stock this year – eight months ago, it bought up $9.6 million in RCKT.

Also this month, 5-star analyst Madhu Kumar of Baird added RCKT to his firm’s “Fresh Pick” list, and outlined his optimism on the company’s drug pipeline: “Prior to Rocket Pharmaceuticals’ (RCKT) data release at the American Society for Hematology (ASH) meeting in Orlando on December 8 for its lead asset, FANCA lentiviral gene therapy (LV GT) RP-L102 for Fanconi anemia type A (FA-A), we are raising our RP-L102 launch probability to 30%…” Along with this Buy rating, Kumar also raised his price target from $30 to $41. His new target suggests a 70% upside for the stock. (To watch Kumar’s track record, click here)

Five analysts have given RCKT stock a thumbs up in recent weeks, making the analyst consensus on it a unanimous Strong Buy. Share sell for just $24.06, and the average price target of $38.67 suggests a robust upside potential of 61%. (See Rocket Pharmaceuticals stock analysis on TipRanks)

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