Stock Quotes in this Article: ATU, DY, LOV, SBCF, VICL

DELAFIELD, Wis. (Stockpickr) -- Corporate insiders sell their own companies' stock for a number of reasons.

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They might need the cash for a big personal purchase such as a new house or yacht, or they might need the cash to fund a charity. Sometimes they sell as part of a planned selling program that they have put in place for diversification purposes, which allows them to sell stock in stages instead of selling all at one price.

Other times they sell because they think their stock is overvalued and the risk/reward is no longer attractive. Some even dump their own stock because they have inside knowledge that a competitor is eating their lunch and stealing market share.

But insiders usually buy their own shares for one reason: They think the stock is a bargain and has tremendous upside.

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The key word in that last statement is "think." Just because a corporate insider thinks his or her stock is going to trade higher, that doesn't mean it will play out that way. Insiders can have all the conviction in the world that their stock is a buy, but if the market doesn't agree with them, the stock could end up going nowhere. Also, I say "usually" because sometimes insiders are loaned money by the company to buy their own stock. Those loans are often sweetheart deals and shouldn't be viewed as organic insider buying.

At the end of the day, it's large institutional money managers running big mutual funds and hedge funds that drive stock prices, not insiders. That said, many of these savvy stock operators will follow insider buying activity when they agree with the insider that the stock is undervalued and has upside potential. This is why it's so important to always be monitoring insider activity, but it's twice as important to make sure the trend of the stock coincides with the insider buying.

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Recently, a number of companies' corporate insiders have bought large amounts of stock. These insiders are finding some value in the market, which warrants a closer look at these stocks. Here's a look five stocks whose insiders have been doing some big buying per SEC filings.

Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida

One mid-Atlantic banking player that insiders are loading up on here is Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida (SBCF), which provides community banking services to commercial, small business, and retail customers in Florida. Insiders are buying this stock into modest strength, since shares are up 9% during the last month.

Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida has a market cap of $228 million and an enterprise value of $360 million. This stock trades at a premium valuation, with a trailing price-to-earnings of 4.95 and a forward price-to-earnings of 25.50. Its estimated growth rate the next quarter is 100%, and for next year it's pegged at -81.2%. This is not a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $108.35 million and its total debt is $237.95 million.

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A director just bought 2.3 million shares, or about $5 million worth of stock, at $2.15 per share.

From a technical perspective, SBCF is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending over the last three months and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $10.10 to its recent high of $12.49 a share. During that uptrend, shares of SBCF have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of SBCF within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

If you're bullish on SBCF, then I would look for long-biased trades as long as this stock is trending above its 50-day at $11.55 and then once breaks out above its 52-week high at $12.49 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above that level with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 86,640 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SBCF will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $15 to $17 a share.

Dycom Industries

Another stock that insiders are active in here is Dycom Industries (DY), which provides specialty contracting services in the U.S. and Canada. Insiders are buying this stock into decent strength, since shares are up 12.7% during the last six months.

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Dycom Industries has a market cap of $956 million and an enterprise value of $1.41 billion. This stock trades at a reasonable valuation, with a trailing price-to-earnings of 22.91 and a forward price-to-earnings of 15.06. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 25.4%, and for next year it's pegged at 27%. This is not a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $14.39 million and its total debt is $484.33 million.

A director just bought 15,000 shares, or about $419,000 worth of stock, at $27.99 per share.

From a technical perspective, DY is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been consolidating and trending sideways over the last month and change, with shares moving between $26.17 on the downside and $28.95 on the upside. Shares of DY are now starting to move within range of triggering a major breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern.

If you're in the bull camp on DY, then I would look for long-biased trades as long as this stock is trending above some key near-term support levels at $26.96 or at $26.17 and then once it breaks out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $28.40 to $28.95 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 182,684 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then DY will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $31.75 a share. Any high-volume move above $31.75 will then give DY a chance to tag $34 to $35 a share.

Vical

One biopharmaceutical player that insiders are jumping into here is Vical (VICL), which engages in the research and development of biopharmaceutical products based on its DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. Insiders are buying this stock into big weakness, since shares are down by 53% over the last six months.

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Vical has a market cap of $151 million and an enterprise value of $67.38 million. This stock trades at a premium valuation, with a price-to-sales of 20.02 and a price-to-book of 2.19. Its estimated growth rate for this year is -51.9%, and for next year it's pegged at 22%. This is a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $55.85 million and its total debt is zero.

The CEO just bought 330,000 shares, or about $468,000 worth of stock, at $1.42 per share. Two vice presidents also just bought 180,000 shares, or about $254,000 worth of stock, at $1.42 per share.

From a technical perspective, VICL is currently trending above its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock has uptrending strong over the last month and change, with shares soaring higher from its low of $1.01 to its intraday high of $1.79 a share. During that uptrend, shares of VICL have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Shares of VICL have just started to break out above some key overhead resistance levels at $1.53 to $1.64 a share. That breakout has sent the stock into a massive gap-down-day zone from last August that started around $3.50 a share.

If you're bullish on VICL, then I would look for long-biased trades as long as this stock is trending above $1.53 or above $1.35 and then once it takes out Wednesday's intraday high of $1.79 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above that level with volume that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 1.34 million shares. If we get that move soon, then VICL will set up to re-fill some more of its previous gap-down-day zone that started near $3.50 a share. Some possible upside targets are $2.50 to $3 a share.

Actuant

Another stock that insiders are jumping into here is Actuant (ATU), which designs, manufactures and distributes a range of industrial products and systems worldwide. Insiders are buying this stock into modest weakness, since shares are off by just 2% over the last three months.

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Actuant has a market cap of $2.69 billion and an enterprise value of $3.02 billion. This stock trades at a reasonable valuation, with a trailing price-to-earnings of 92.22 and a forward price-to-earnings of 15.83. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 2%, and for next year it's pegged at 14.8%. This is not a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $109.54 million and its total debt is $503 million.

A vice president just bought 7,000 shares, or about $251,000 worth of stock, at $35.93 per share.

From a technical perspective, ATU is currently trending above its 200-day moving average and just below its 50-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock has just started to rebound off its 200-day moving average at $35.51 a share. That move is quickly pushing shares of ATU within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

If you're bullish on ATU, then I would look for long-biased trades as long as this stock is trending above its 200-day at $35.51 or above more support at $35.39 and then once it breaks out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $37.04 to its 50-day moving average of $37.63 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 530,665 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ATU will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $39 to its 52-week high at $39.84 a share. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give ATU a chance to trend well north of $40 a share.

Spark Networks

One final stock with some decent insider buying is Spark Networks (LOV), which provides online personals services in the U.S. and internationally. Insiders are buying this stock into major weakness, since shares are down by 29% during the last six months.

Spark Networks has a market cap of $145 million and an enterprise value of $131 million. This stock trades at a reasonable valuation, with a price-to-sales of 2.14 and a price-to-book of 8.07. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 25, and for next year it's pegged at 48.1%. This is a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $17.24 million and its total debt is zero.

A beneficial owner just bought 98,638 shares, or about $616,000 worth of stock, at $6.23 per share.
From a technical perspective, LOV is currently trending below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bearish. This stock has been trending sideways and consolidating for the last few weeks, with shares moving between $5.99 on the downside and $6.55 on the upside. So far, that $5.99 level has been tested a few times and has formed a double bottom chart pattern. If that level can hold, then shares of LOV could start to rebound and move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

If you're bullish on LOV, then look for long-biased trades as long as this stock is trending above support at $5.99 and then once it breaks out above its 50-day at $6.19 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $6.55 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 147,773 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then LOV will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $7.30 to its 200-day moving average of $7.42 a share. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give LOV a chance to tag $8 to $8.50 a share.

To see more stocks with notable insider buying, check out the Stocks With Big Insider Buying portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.


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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, Wis., is an independent trader who focuses on technical analysis for small- and large-cap stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. Roberto studied international business at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany. His work has appeared on financial outlets including

CNBC.com and Forbes.com. You can follow Pedone on Twitter at www.twitter.com/zerosum24 or @zerosum24.