Stocks With Insider Buying, Buybacks: ZMH - TheStreet

Updated from 7:01 a.m. EDT

One of the primary goals of Stockpickr.com is to allow everyday investors to see what the big guns are buying. Often, we see a big-name investor loading up on a particular stock. This is usually a good sign, because you know that person put a lot of time and due diligence into that process. Plus, high-profile investors have bankers, lawyers and consultants breaking down the business every which way imaginable.

The real icing on the cake, however, is when that same company announces that an insider has purchased a large chunk of stock or even better, the board initiates a new, large share-buyback program.

That's why each Thursday at Stockpickr we update the

Top 10 Insider Purchases and Buybacks

portfolio, featuring the stocks that recently had either big insider purchases or newly announced buybacks, as well as super investors accumulating shares.

For instance, there's

MetLife

(MET) - Get Report

. The New York insurance and financial services provider approved a new $1 billion stock repurchase plan on April 22. This new buyback will follow up an existing $1 billion buyback, which has $261 million remaining under it.

The insurance giant last week reported first-quarter earnings that showed a 37% drop in net income in part due to a weaker dollar. However, operating income rose 3% to $1.11 billion, or $1.52 a share. That beat Wall Street estimates for $1.48 a share. The company's fees and premiums increased 12%, fueled by retirement and savings products.

On the analyst front, Friedman, Billings, Ramsey's Randy Binner cut his target price but remained bullish on the stock with an implied 24% return from current prices. While dropping his price to $75 from $76 a share, Binner noted in a client report, "We continue to favor MetLife given its lower credit exposure relative to other life insurers."

We also like to see that

TPG-Axon

invests in Met shares. TPG-Axon is a leading global investment firm with more than $11 billion invested in public and private markets around the world. TPG-Axon also holds shares of

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

and

Union Pacific

(UNP) - Get Report

.

Pzena Investment Management

is another successful investment fund that owns Met shares. This $26 billion firm screens for stocks that are in the most-undervalued or deep-value portion of their universe based on normal earnings. The firm also likes

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

and

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

.

So with MetLife, we have a buyback, better-than-expected earnings, an analyst that likes the stock and two well-known investors invested. It may be time to do some additional homework on MetLife.

Next on the list is

Zimmer

(ZMH)

. The Indiana-based knee and hip implant maker announced April 24 an additional $1.25 billion stock buyback program. The new plan adds to the roughly $477 million remaining capacity under an existing buyback program.

That same day, the orthopedic-device maker reported first-quarter results that were in line with Wall Street targets. On an adjusted basis, Zimmer earned $244.3 million, or $1.04 a share, on revenue of $1.06 billion. The company also reaffirmed expected year-over-year sales growth of 10% to 11% in 2008.

Lehman Brothers analyst Bob Hopkins reaffirmed an overweight rating on Zimmer's stock. Deutsche Bank-North America analyst Tao Levy also reaffirmed a buy rating.

When a successful fund such as

Jana Partners

is in the stock, we also take notice. The activist fund, run by Barry Rosenstein, takes a value-oriented and research-intensive investment approach. Among its other holdings are

Mirant

( MIR) and

Williams Cos.

(WMB) - Get Report

.

It's also good to see that

Maverick Capital

owns Zimmer shares. The $10 billion hedge fund, run by Lee Ainslie III, also likes

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

and

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

.

So with Zimmer, we have a buyback, reaffirmed 2008 revenue guidance, a buy rating and two noteworthy investors in the stock. That's a solid foundation for the stock to take off.

And finally, we have

Foundry Networks

( FDRY). The Santa Clara, Calif.-based computer network provider on April 24 expanded its share-repurchase program by $100 million. The expansion increases the value of the existing buyback program, announced in July 2007, to $300 million.

The networking products maker the same day also announced a 53% surge in first-quarter profits and adjusted earnings per share that fell in line with Wall Street estimates.

While there seems to be weakness in overseas markets, the buyback combined with first-quarter earnings was enough for Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Jason Ader to raise his price target to $15 from $14.

Adding to the bullish case for the stock is that

Pequot Capital Management

is betting on Foundry. The firm, which manages about $7.4 billion in assets, also invests in

Foster Wheeler

(FWLT)

and

Winn-Dixie Stores

( WINN).

Another solid investor invested in Foundry is Kenneth Griffin, who runs

Citadel Capital

. The $20 billion hedge fund also holds shares of

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

and

3Com

( COMS).

So with Foundry Networks, we have an increased buyback, solid earnings, an increased price target and two remarkable investors in the stock. It may be time to take a closer look at this stock.

For more stocks and analysis, check out this week's

Top 10 Insider Purchases and Buybacks

at Stockpickr.com.

For the 10 most recent portfolios, check out:

You can also review

Barron's Top Insider Purchases

from the prior week as well as Cramer's

"Mad Money" Buybacks

.

At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of

Stockpickr

LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for the

Financial Times

and the author of

Trade Like a Hedge Fund

,

Trade Like Warren Buffett

and

SuperCa$h

. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;

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to send him an email.

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