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In Insider Trading, Harbinger Increases Its Stake in Spectrum Brands (Again), and Generac Sees a Major Sale

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Plus, there were purchases at Pitney Bowes and Vocus.

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Welcome to our daily roundup of top insider trades. Here's a look at the most significant inside sales and purchases filed with the SEC on Wednesday, May 8, 2013.

Purchases: The holding company Harbinger Group Inc. (NYSE:HRG) bought 42,600 shares of diversified consumer products company Spectrum Brands (NYSE:SPB) for $2,423,526, increasing its total stake in the company to 30,467,686 shares, worth over $1.7 billion (Harbinger is the company's majority shareholder.) On April 30, Spectrum reported its earnings for Q1 2013, with earnings increasing 29.41% from last year's Q1, to $0.44 per share, which did not beat the mean analyst estimate of $0.52 per share. Revenue rose 32.35% to $987.8 million, beating the estimate of $970.16 million. The stock's price has increased 27.4% YTD and 77.99% since this time last year.

Marc Lautenbach, the President and CEO of Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI), bought 66,000 shares of the Stamford, CT-based company stock for $1,013,621. Pitney Bowes is an American manufacturer of software and hardware that enables physical and digital communications; it provides services related to documents, packaging, mailing, and shipping. It is one of the 87 companies that has been a member of the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) since the index's inception in 1957. Lautenbach was named President and CEO last December, having previously served in senior leadership positions at IBM (NYSE:IBM). On April 30, the company announced Q1 2013 earnings of $0.33 per share, down from $0.79 for Q1 2012; revenue fell by 4.4%, to $1.17 billion. That same day, the company announced it would cut its 2Q dividend from $0.375 to $0.1875 per share. The stock's price is up 45.25% YTD and 1.34% since this time last year.

The Okumus Opportunistic Value Fund bought 52,803 shares of cloud marketing software company Vocus (NASDAQ:VOCS) for $524,405, increasing its total stake in the company to 3,489,230 shares. The company offers its clients marketing and publicity solutions for social media, Internet search, and email. The stock's price is down 45.85% in past three months, owing mostly to a steep drop of 36.98% on April 24 after earnings and revenue for Q1 missed estimates and the company lowered its Q2 expectations. The price is down 46.84% since this time last year.

Sales: The global private equity firm CCMP Capital sold 19,000,000 shares of Wisconsin-based generator company Generac (NYSE:GNRC) for $658,800,000. Generac manufactures backup power generators for residential, light commercial, and industrial markets, with products ranging from 800 watts to 9 megawatts of output. The company reported Q1 2013 earnings on May 3, with earnings per share reaching $1.21, marking at 26% increase year-over-year, and beating the mean estimate of $0.98 per share. Revenue came in at $399.6 million, up 35.7% year-over-year, beat the estimate of $360 million. The stock's price has decreased 9.94% in the last three months, but is up 6.41% YTD and 35.37% since this time last year.

Insider Purchases
#: Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Type
Dollar Value
1
BO
B
$2,423,526
2
PR,CEO
B
$1,013,621
3
DIR
B
$853,986
4
BO
B,JB*
$524,405
5
CB,CEO,BO
B
$420,058
6
DIR
JB*
$418,125
7
DIR
B
$310,000
8
DIR
B
$296,091
9
DIR
B
$232,800
10
DIR
B
$202,245

Insider Sales
#: Filer Name Insider Titles Company Name Ticker Trans
Type
Dollar Value
1
BO
JS*
$658,800,000
2
BO
JS*
$330,080,000
3
DIR,BO
JS*
$302,745,600
4
CEO,DIR
AS
$14,255,634
5
BO
S
$12,289,155
6
DIR
S
$10,035,594
7
CB,PR,CEO
S
$9,294,016
8
COO,DIR
AS
$4,808,062
9
CB,CEO,DIR
S
$4,424,720
10
CB,PR,CEO
AS
$3,625,322

Source: InsiderInsights.com | Key to Insider Title and Trans Type Codes

An important note from Jonathan Moreland, founder of Insider Insights:

In a victory for common sense, it has been proven profitable -- by both academic studies and (more importantly) the experience of your fellow professional investors -- to monitor the trading behavior of company executives, directors, and large shareholders in the stocks of firms of which they're registered as "insiders."

Please note, however, that the lists above are strictly factual; they are not buy and sell recommendations. Dollar value is only one metric to assess the importance of an insider transaction, and, frankly, often not even the most important metric that determines if an insider transaction is significant.

At InsiderInsights.com, we find new investment ideas just about every day using these and more intricate insider screens to determine where we should focus our subsequent fundamental and technical analysis. And while stocks don't (or shouldn't) move up or down based on insider activity alone, insiders tend to be good indicators of when real stock-moving events like earnings surprises, corporate actions, and new products may be in the offing.

Jonathan Moreland is also the author of "Profit From Legal Insider Trading."

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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