Updated from 6:11 a.m. ESTOne of the primary goals of Stockpickr.com is to allow everyday investors a look at 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. But when that same company announces that an insider has purchased a large chunk of stock or, even better, the board announces a new large share-buyback program, that usually seals the bullish case for the stock. As Jim Cramer often points out, insider selling happens all the time for many different reasons, but insiders buy for only one reason: They think their stock is going higher. That's why each Thursday at Stockpickr we update the Top 10 Insider Purchases and Buybacks portfolio, featuring stocks that have had big insider purchases or newly announced buybacks as well as super investors accumulating shares. Kroger ( KR) makes this week's portfolio. The Cincinnati-based supermarket announced a new $1 billion stock-repurchase plan. It will replace the $1 billion plan the company set in place last June, a plan that has just $6 million in buying power remaining. Kroger has repurchased $4.8 billion in stock and spent $290 million on dividends since January 2000. During that time, Kroger also has also reduced total debt by $1.5 billion. The company isn't the only one buying shares. Company leaders are also investing in Kroger stock for their own accounts. In December, company director Robert Beyer spent about $1 million to buy 40,000 shares at an average price of $26.79 each. Also last month, Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to outperform, citing the stock's 8% selloff since the grocery chain reported third-quarter earnings in November as unwarranted. Analyst Edward Kelly believes the disappointment was mostly driven by a drop in fuel earnings. But seeing as fuel earnings are extremely volatile from quarter to quarter, they make a terrible indicator of Kroger's overall business. Kelly believes the long-term outlook still remains strong. In volatile markets where recession fears are looming, a defensive stock like Kroger becomes even more attractive. Historically, the food retail sector outperforms in a recession. Kelly set a price target of $32, representing upside potential of more than 20%. Adding to the bullish case for Kroger is that Citadel Investment Group owns the stock. The $20 billion Chicago-based hedge fund is known for its large daily trading volume, which amounts to 1% to 2% of daily trading activity in New York and Tokyo. It also holds PepsiCo ( PEP) and Gemstar-TV Guide ( GMST).