Stock Quotes in this Article: APC, LIME, OPK, WPRT, MKTG, GNE

WINDERMERE, Fla. (Stockpickr) -- Corporate insiders sell their own companies’ stock for a number of reasons.

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, its 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.

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 at several stocks whose insiders have been doing some big buying per SEC filings.

Opko Health

Key insiders have been doing some big buying in Opko Health (OPK), a pharmaceutical and diagnostics company. It is focused on developing a range of solutions, including molecular diagnostics tests, pharmaceuticals and vaccines. This stock has done nothing so far in 2012 since shares are virtually flat on the year.

Opko Health has a market cap of $1.39 billion and an enterprise value of $1.31 billion. This stock trades at a premium valuation, with a price-to-sales of 32.27 and a price-to-book of 13.51. Its estimated growth rate for this year is -50%, and for next year it’s pegged at -16.7%. This is a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $87.42 million and its total debt is $12.55 million.

The CEO and chairman of the board just bought 620,000 shares, or $3.08 million worth of stock, at $4.78 to $5.07 per share. This same CEO also bought over $2.5 million worth of stock in February.

From a technical perspective, OPK is currently trading above its 200-day moving average and below its 50-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock has consistently found buying interest over the last six months whenever it has traded down towards $4.65 to $4.80 a share.

If you’re bullish on OPK, I would look for long biased trades as long as $4.65 and its 200-day moving average of $4.59 hold up as support levels. If you get a chance to buy near those levels, I would then add to any long positions off on any high-volume strength back above its near-term overhead resistance at $5.08 to $5.53 a share. Look for volume on a move over those levels that are near or well above its three-month average of 1.6 million shares.

Opko, one of Jana Partners' holdings, was also featured recently in "12 Bargain Stocks With Insider Support."

Genie Energy

Another name that insiders are doing some active buying in is Genie Energy (GNE), which is engaged in developing pioneering technologies to produce clean and affordable transportation fuels from the world's abundant unconventional fuel resources. Insiders are buying into strength here since this stock is up around 32% in 2012.

Genie Energy has a market cap of $237.5 million and an enterprise value of $144 million. This stock trades at a cheap valuation, with a price-to-sales of 1.15 and a price-to-book of 1.80. This is cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $92.35 million and its total debt is zero.

The chairman of the board and beneficial owner just bought 52,000 shares, or $514,000 worth of stock, at $9.90 per share.

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From a technical perspective, GNE is currently trading above its 50-day moving average, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending strong since it hit its IPO low of $6.68 a share last November. After marking that low, the stock has soared to its IPO high in February at $11.18 a share. After a brief pullback of that high, the stock is now trading within range of breaking out and challenging that high.

If you’re bullish on GNE, then I would look for long biased trades once this stock breaks out above some near-term overhead resistance at $10.50, and then above its all-time high of $11.18 a share with high-volume. Look for volume on any move above those levels that’s near or well above its three-month average action of 86,080 shares. If we get that action soon, then look for GNE to spike significantly higher since it will have cleared all of its overhead resistance levels.

Anadarko Petroleum

One large-cap oil and gas player whose insiders are doing some decent buying is Anadarko Petroleum (APC), an independent exploration and production company. Insiders are buying into some mild strength here since the stock is up just over 6% so far in 2012.

Anadarko Petroleum has a market cap of $40 billion and an enterprise value of $54 billion. This stock trades at a reasonable valuation, with a forward price-to-earnings of 15.89. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 17.2%, and for next year it’s pegged at 29.1%. This is far from a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $2.70 billion and its total debt is a whopping $16.43 billion.

A director just bought 10,000 shares, or around $841,000 worth of stock, at $84.19 per share.

From a technical perspective, APC is currently trading above its 200-day moving average and below its 50-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock just printed a lower high and dropped back below its 50-day moving average of $83.28. The trend right now for APC is down as the stock moves towards some near-term support levels at $80.73 to $77.50 a share.

If you‘re a bullish on APC, I would look to buy this stock into weakness that takes it down towards some near-term support levels at $77.50 to $76.86 (200-day) a share. I would simply use a mental stop right below $76.86 in case it doesn’t hold. Those near-term support levels are important, so if they don’t hold I would avoid any long trades in this stock for the time being.

One could also just buy off strength on a high-volume move back above its 50-day moving average of $83.28. Look for volume on that move that’s near or well above its three-month average action 3.65 million shares.

Anadarko, one of John Paulson's holdings, shows up on a list of 10 Energy Stocks for 2012.

Westport Innovations

Insiders are also snapping up a huge amount of stock in Westport Innovations (WPRT), a provider of engine and fuel system technologies utilizing gaseous fuels. Insiders are buying into huge strength here since this stock is up a whopping 39% in 2012.

Westport Innovations market cap of $2.54 billion and an enterprise value of $2.65 billion. This stock trades at a fair valuation, with a price-to-sales of 10.09 and a price-to-book of 13.85. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 16.7%, and for next year it’s pegged at 46.7%. This is a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $105.57 million and its total debt is $87.29 million.

A beneficial owner just bought 500,000 shares, or around $22.2 million worth of stock, at $43.29 to $4.38 per share.

From a technical perspective, WPRT is currently trading above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock broke out today above some near-term overhead resistance at $47.38 a share. That said, after breaking out WPRT reversed the move entirely and closed near its daily lows on monster volume. This type of action normally leads to more downside for a stock in the near-term.

If you’re bullish WPRT, I would let this stock selloff significantly more consider the bearish reversal that was put in today after breaking out. This stock could easily fall all the way back towards its 50-day moving average of $41.20, or even down towards some near-term support zones at $38.38 to $35 a share. I would wait until this stock moves sideways off one of those support levels before considering long biased trades.

Westport is one of George Soros' holdings, as of the most recently reported period.

Responsys

In the software and programming complex, insiders are snapping up shares of Responsys (MKTG), a provider of on-demand software and professional services. Insiders are buying into some decent strength here since the stock is up 35% so far in 2012.

Responsys has a market cap of $570 million and an enterprise value of $453 million. This stock trades at a premium valuation, with a trailing price-to-earnings of 96.94 and a forward price-to-earnings of 40.07. Its estimated growth rate for this year is -4.8%, and for next year it’s pegged at 50%. This is a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $94.76 million and its total debt is just $2.03 million.

A director just bought 25,000 shares, or $253,000 worth of stock, at $10.16 per share.

From a technical perspective, MKTG is currently above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock recently dropped from $12.78 to $9.69, but has since rebounded towards its current price of $12.02 a share. That sharp snapback now puts MKTG within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

If you’re bullish on MKTG, I would look for long biased trades as long as the stock is trending above its 200-day moving average of $11.99. I would also look for long biased trades once it breaks out above some near-term overhead resistance at $12.78 with volume. Look for volume on a move above that level that’s near or well above its three-month average action of 371,500 shares.

Make note that volume on Wednesday was over 1 million shares and the sock rose 4.3%. If we get that high-volume breakout over $12.78 soon, then look for MKTG to make a run at its next significant overhead resistance levels at $14 to $16 a share.

To see more stocks with notable insider buying, including AutoNation (AN), Teledyne Technologies (TDY) and Lime Energy (LIME), check out the Stocks With Big Insider Buying portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.

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

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., is an independent trader who focuses on stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.