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5 Stocks Insiders Are Scooping Up

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Another biotechnology and drugs player that insiders are buying up a decent amount of stock in is Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND), which is focused on drug discovery and early-stage development of pharmaceuticals. Insiders are buying this stock into some notable strength, since shares are up 30% in the last three months.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $398 million and an enterprise value of $423 million. This stock trades at a premium valuation, with a trailing price-to-earnings of 137.66 and a forward price-to-earnings of 51.18. Its estimated growth rate for this year is -88.5%, and for next year it's pegged at 550%. This is not a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $7.05 million and its total debt is $28.15 million.

A beneficial owner just bought 39,600 shares, or about $783,000 worth of stock, at $19.78 per share.

From a technical perspective, LGND is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares soaring from its low of $14.75 a share to its recent high of $21.75 a share. During that uptrend, shares of LGND have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Shares of LGND have recently sold off from that $21.75 high and moved back towards its 50-day moving average of $19.83 a share.

Traders who are bullish on LGND should now look for long-biased trades as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $19.03, and then once it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $20.99 to $21.75 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 153,792 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then LGND will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $25 to $27 a share.

Natural Resource Partners

One coal player that insiders are jumping into big here is Natural Resource Partners (NRP), which is engaged mainly in the business of owning and managing coal properties in the three coal-producing regions of the U.S.: Appalachia, the Illinois Basin and the Western U.S. Insiders are buying this stock into modest strength, since shares are up 3.6% in the last three months.

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