The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (
) -- Insider transactions are usually worth looking at.
Though insider purchases or sells do not always send clear "buy" or "sell" signals, it is always a good starting point to choose which stocks to be analyzed. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at a few insider purchases reported to SEC during the last week.
We selected a few notable insider purchases with large dollar amounts purchased and large number of shares purchased. We also focused on stocks with relatively large market caps (above $1.5 billion) because these have enough liquidity to absorb sudden surges in demand.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International
. Insiders are showing a lot of interest in VRX recently. In an
we published this week we mentioned that Valeant's EVP and CFO Bradley Howard Schiller bought 9,300 shares of VRX at $53.4717 per share on March 1 and another 9,300 shares at $58.8107 a day later.
Schiller purchased additional shares again on March 6, when he bought 9200 shares of VRX at $53.5276 per share. We were already bullish about VRX before the insider purchases were disclosed. Schiller's purchases increased our conviction in the stock.
Spectrum Brands Holdings
. This was the largest insider purchase in large-cap stocks reported to SEC at the end of last week.
As a large shareholder of SPB,
Harbinger Capital Partners reported to purchase 249,900 shares of SPB at $29 per share on March 7. The stock is now trading at $29.37 per share, up 1.28% from the price it was purchased at.
SPB was also the largest position in Harbinger's 13F portfolio at the end of last year. The fund had $764 million invested in SPB as of Dec. 31, 2011, and it now should be over $800 million as Harbinger has been continuously purchasing this stock over the past few months.
SPB's management team has been adjusting the portfolio by modestly shifting from durables to consumables. For example, the company has acquired Black Flag and Furminator last year, which will improve the SPB's margins.
For the three months ending January 1, 2012, the company reported financial results in line with the analysts' expectations. Its net income was $13.1 million in that period, vs. a net loss of $19.8 million for the same period a year ago. SPB is expected to make $2.46 per share in 2012 and $2.88 per share in 2013.