Insider Buys Of The Week: Associated Banc-Corp, IFF, Molina Healthcare

Insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors.

A number of insiders took advantage of share offerings.

One company saw buying while shares were at all-times highs.

  • 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. 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.

Associated Banc-Corp

Associated Banc Corp (NYSE: ASB) saw CEO Philip Flynn and four other directors step up to the buy window this past week. The 234,000 shares of this Wisconsin-based regional bank — acquired at a per-share price of $25 — cost them $5.85 million altogether. This was part of a $100-million preferred stock offering intended to raise funds to buy back $200 million in common shares.

Associated Banc-Corp named a new chief information officer earlier this month. The stock closed Friday at $26.90 after climbing less than 2 percent during the week. Shares have changed hands between $23 and $29.03 each in the past year, and the analyst's mean price target is $29.58.

Molina Healthcare

A Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: MOH) executive vice president bought two equal batches of shares last week. The total of 25,000 shares acquired of this California-based managed care company, at per-share prices between $147.34 and $149.67, cost him almost $3.72 million. Note that these purchases were pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 purchase agreement that was established June 8.

The stock has been hitting new all-time highs since the second-quarter report back in July. Its shares dropped about 4 percent but recovered in the past week. They were last seen trading at $152.72 apiece, above that executive's purchase price range. The analysts' mean price target is still down at $138.85.

IFF

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (NYSE: IFF) had beneficial owner Winder Investment add to its stake again. At $130.25 per share, the more than 2.72 million shares reportedly acquired in the past week cost the Singapore-based holding company almost $295.95 million. Note that Winder has been buying shares on and off since March, and this purchase was part of a public offering of common shares.

IFF intends to close its acquisition of Frutarom soon, after recently receiving final antitrust clearance. The shares ended the week trading at $140.46 each. They have traded as low as $122.11 and as high as $157.40 in the past 52 weeks — above the consensus price target of $144.93.

See also: A Fintech Friday Look At Three Bay Area Disruptors

At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.

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