Stocks and players with the most insider buying in 2019

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We end off the year by tallying up the companies and insiders who had the most net public-market buying in 2019. We are only looking at beneficial buying, so if an insider is buying on a control or direction basis that won't get counted as it is a trade for someone's benefit (or potential loss). The amounts are in millions of dollars, and the year-to-date (YTD) returns are as of December 29th. We start off with companies that have had the most officers or director buying.

Top 10 Companies with the most officer and director net buying in 2019 ($ millions) and YTD price return%

1. Dream Office REIT ( D.UN) $45.2 +40.7%
2. Rogers Communications (RCI.B) $20.3 -7.3%
3. Pipestone Energy (PIPE) $9.1 -20.5%
4. DREAM Unlimited (DRM) $8.8 +70.6%
5. Galaxy Digital Holdings (GLXY) $6.4 +9.0%
6. Barrick Gold (ABX) $5.4 +30.1%
7. Osisko Metals (OM) $5.2 -21.2%
8. SunOpta (SOY) $5.0 -38.3%
9. Leagold Mining (LMC) $4.8 +83.8%
10. Stingray Group (RAY.A) $4.4 +4.3%

Of the four stocks on the list with sunny outlooks, would characterize three (D.UN, DRM and LMC) of them as growth opportunities as their bright prospects are coinciding with rising share prices. Pipestone Energy remains a contrarian setup although the stock has been flying recently, up 42% since the Fed started its T-bill buying program on October 15th.

Next, we look at the five most active insiders with public market buying. For this group we capture the public-market beneficial ownership trades by all insiders except issuers. Large investors can transact for any number of reasons including the need to put cash to work. While there are always exceptions, on average we do not view the signal content of institutional buying trades to be as valuable as trades by officers and directors. A negative dollar number reflects net selling.

Top 5 insiders with the most buying ($ millions) identified by company with YTD Returns (%)

1. Cascade Investment (controlled by Bill Gates) $123.3

- Canadian National Railway $123.3 (CNR) +17.7%

2. Dream Asset Management (controlled by Michael Cooper) $62.7

- Dream Office REIT $45.5
- Dream Asset Alternatives Trust (DRA) $17.2 +24.2%

3. GMT Capital $44.8

- Gran Tierra Energy (GTE) $33.9 -47.3%
- Leucrotta Exploration (LXE) $10.6 -25.0%
- Mandalay Resources (MND) $9.6 +34.7%
- Tamarack Valley Energy (TVE) $8.7 -15.7%
- Pipestone Energy $8.4
- Nuvista Energy (NVA) $4.8 -21.8%
- Strategic Oil & Gas (Halted) -$0.2
- Dundee Precious Metals (DPM) -$6.9 +60.6%
- Hudbay Minerals (HBM) -$23.9 -16.9%

4. Investmentaktiengesellschaft fur langfristige Investoren TGV (founded by the family office of publisher Norman Rentrop) $26.7

- Tucows (TC) (TCX*US) $26.7 -1.5%

5. Edward Rogers $20.3

- Rogers Communications $20.3

One very active insider this year that did not make the top 5 list is Eric Sprott (filed under 2176423 Ontario). He reported $6.8 million in public market buys in 2019 putting him at number 12. Most of his transactions in 2019 were via financing deals. Looking at private, prospectus or prospectus exempt types of purchases, Mr. Sprott was the 5th most active in that group investing $175 million in 29 companies. His three largest investments via the public and private markets in 2019 were Jaguar Mining (JAG) $21.2M, Wallbridge Mining (WM) $21.1M and Pure Gold Mining (PGM) $19.8M.

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INK Edge outlook ranking categories (Sunny, Mostly Sunny, Mixed, Cloudy, Rainy) are designed to identify groups of stocks that have the potential to out- or under-perform the market. However, any individual stock could surprise on the up or downside. As such, outlook categories are not meant to be stock-specific recommendations. For background on our INK Edge outlook, please watch our short video or visit our FAQ #3.

This article is from the INK Market Report which was published December 30th for Canadian Insider Club members and INK subscribers. Disclosure: I hold NVA and PIPE.

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