Will Insiders Be Tempted To Buy More MMLP At The New 52-Week Low?

In trading on Wednesday, shares of Martin Midstream Partners LP (MMLP) touched a new 52-week low of $39.22/share. That's a $9.68 share price drop, or -19.80% decline from the 52-week high of $48.90 set back on 10/23/2013. Large percentage drops always require that the stock post even larger percentage gains from the low in order to recover the old price point, and for MMLP that means the stock would have to gain 24.68% to get back to the 52-week high. For a move like that, Martin Midstream Partners LP would need fundamental strength at the business level.

Here's a rhetorical question: Who knows more about fundamentals at the business level than the company's own insiders? So let's take a look to see whether any company insiders were taking the other side of the trade as MMLP shares were being sold down to this new 52-week low, focusing on the most recent trailing six month period. As summarized by the table below, MMLP has seen 6 different instances of insiders buying over the past six months.

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Ten Bargains You Can Buy Cheaper Than The Insiders Did »

Purchased Insider Title Shares Price/Share Value
11/13/2013 Charles H. Still Director 500 $46.22 $23,110.00
11/19/2013 Randall Tauscher Executive Vice President/COO 78 $46.64 $3,637.92
11/19/2013 Ruben S. Martin President and CEO 223 $46.64 $10,400.72
11/19/2013 Robert D. Bondurant Executive VP and CFO 85 $46.64 $3,964.40
11/19/2013 Chris H. Booth VP/General Counsel/Secretary 2 $46.64 $93.28
12/03/2013 Ruben S. Martin President and CEO 3,000 $41.85 $125,550.00
12/05/2013 Robert D. Bondurant Executive VP and CFO 1,500 $40.61 $60,915.00
01/02/2014 Ruben S. Martin President and CEO 325 $42.80 $13,910.00
01/02/2014 Robert D. Bondurant Executive VP and CFO 117 $42.80 $5,007.60
01/02/2014 Randall Tauscher Executive Vice President/COO 47 $42.80 $2,011.60
01/02/2014 Wesley M. Skelton Executive VP, CA0 & Controller 65 $42.80 $2,782.00
02/20/2014 Ruben S. Martin President and CEO 247 $43.89 $10,840.83
02/20/2014 Chris H. Booth VP/General Counsel/Secretary 2 $43.89 $87.78
02/20/2014 Randall Tauscher Executive Vice President/COO 86 $43.89 $3,774.54
02/20/2014 Robert D. Bondurant Executive VP and CFO 94 $43.89 $4,125.66
04/02/2014 Ruben S. Martin President and CEO 346 $43.05 $14,895.30
04/02/2014 Robert D. Bondurant Executive VP and CFO 132 $43.05 $5,682.60
04/02/2014 Wesley M. Skelton Executive VP, CA0 & Controller 76 $43.05 $3,271.80
04/02/2014 Randall Tauscher Executive Vice President/COO 52 $43.05 $2,238.60
05/14/2014 Robert D. Bondurant Executive VP and CFO 1,000 $39.65 $39,650.00

In the short run, while the new 52-week low suggests the stock is at the cheapest price and perhaps therefore the best bargain it has been over the last 52 weeks, the low print also means anyone who has purchased the stock over that timeframe is staring at an unrealized loss. Oftentimes, that factor drives a stock's technical analysis metrics by creating overhead resistance, with investors who bought higher now anxious to reverse their trade once they are back to breakeven. The chart below shows where MMLP has traded over the past year, with the 50-day and 200-day moving averages included.

Martin Midstream Partners LP Moving Averages Chart

Time will tell whether the insider purchases foretell a future rebound for MMLP shares, which are presently showing a last trade of $39.90/share, slightly above the new 52-week low.

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