Top Buys by Top Brass: CEO Smolik's $1.5M Bet on EPE

A company's own top management tend to have the best inside view into the business, so when company officers make major buys, investors are wise to take notice. Presumably the only reason an insider would take their hard-earned cash and use it to buy stock of their company in the open market, is that they expect to make money — maybe they find the stock very undervalued, or maybe they see exciting progress within the company, or maybe both. So in this series we look at the largest insider buys by the ''top brass'' over the trailing six month period, one of which was a total of $1.5M invested across 3 purchases by Brent J. Smolik, CEO at EP Energy Corp. (EPE).

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Smolik bets big on EPE:
Purchased Insider Title Shares Price/Share Value
08/15/2014 Brent J. Smolik Chairman, President & CEO 27,250 $18.42 $501,945.00
10/02/2014 Brent J. Smolik Chairman, President & CEO 30,700 $16.31 $500,717.00
10/09/2014 Brent J. Smolik Chairman, President & CEO 34,070 $14.68 $500,147.60

Smolik's average cost works out to $16.33/share. In trading on Wednesday, bargain hunters could buy shares of EP Energy Corp. ( EPE) and achieve a cost basis lower than Smolik, with shares changing hands as low as $14.32 per share. Shares of EP Energy Corp. were changing hands at $14.44 at last check, trading down about 0.8% on Wednesday. The chart below shows the one year performance of EPE shares, versus its 200 day moving average:

EP Energy Corp. Chart

Looking at the chart above, EPE's low point in its 52 week range is $12.50 per share, with $23.23 as the 52 week high point — that compares with a last trade of $14.44.

According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, EPE makes up 1.17% of the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF ( XOP) which is trading lower by about 0.2% on the day Wednesday.

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