Essex Rental

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Another stock that insiders are buying up is Essex Rental ( ESSX), which provides cranes, including lattice-boom crawler cranes, truck cranes and rough terrain cranes, tower cranes and other lifting equipment, for use in a range of construction projects. Insiders are buying this stock into some modest strength since shares are up 14% so far in 2012.

Essex Rental has a market cap of $83 million and an enterprise value of $296 million. This stock trades at a reasonable valuation, with a price-to-sales of 0.84 and a price-to-book of 0.97. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 12.5%, and for this year it's pegged at 57.1%. This is not a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $7.83 million and its total debt is $227.28 million.

The CEO and president just bought 172,000 shares, or $507,000 worth of stock, at $2.95 per share.

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From a technical perspective, ESSX is currently trading right at its 200-day moving average and below its 50-day moving average, which is bearish. This stock has been trading range bound for the past three months and change, between $2.80 on the downside and $4.31 on the upside. On Tuesday, ESSX bounced higher by 7.6% to $3.39 a share with volume above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, but closed right below its 200-day.

If you're bullish on ESSX, then I would look for long-biased trades once it manages to close above both its 200-day and 50-day moving averages with high-volume. Look for volume on that move that's near or above its three-month average action of 60,994 shares. If we get that action soon, I would then add to any long positions once ESSX takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $3.90 to $4.31 a share with high-volume. If ESSX can sustain a trend above all of those levels, then it could hit its next significant resistance prices at $4.89 to $5.50 in the near future.

I would simply avoid any long trades in ESSX if fails to sustain a high-volume trend above both its 200-day and 50-day moving averages, or if it ever takes out $2.80 a share with high-volume.

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