Corporate insiders have far more information on their companies than outsiders. If these individuals are buying company stock, it’s worth taking a closer look.
In this report, we are going to highlight some interesting insider buying at LendingTree Inc (TREE:US). LendingTree operates an online marketplace for consumers seeking loans. Its platform enables consumers to compare offers from a broad range of companies in one simple search and choose the option that best fits their financial needs. The company is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and currently has a market capitalization of $3.5 billion.
LendingTree Inc: Insider Buying
Our data shows that since 26 February, Director G Kennedy Thompson has purchased TREE stock twice. On 26 February, he purchased 3,500 shares at a price of $276.21 per share, spending $966,725 on stock. Then, on 1 March, he added another 1,500 shares at a price of $272.32 per share, which cost him $408,475. Overall, the insider spent around $1.38 million on LendingTree stock.
Large Insider Trade
This insider trade stands out for two main reasons. Firstly, G Kennedy Thompson has significant investment management experience. Currently, he is a partner at Aquiline Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm. Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Wachovia Corporation. This experience gives the trade more informational value, in our view.
Secondly, Mr. Thompson has spent a large amount of money on stock and increased the size of his position substantially. Our data shows that these two purchases have doubled the size of his stake. This suggests he is very confident the stock is set to move higher.
LendingTree posted a solid set of fourth-quarter results in late February that beat expectations. While total revenue for the quarter was down 13% to $222.3 million, insurance segment revenue was up 21% to $85.6 million and home segment revenue was up 36% to $88.8 million. Within the home segment, mortgage products revenue grew 51% year on year to a record $81.5 million. The company advised that revenue in its consumer segment showed “improving trends”.
"We are pleased to be able to report better-than-expected fourth quarter results, and even more encouraging is the positive momentum we see across each of our segments. Our diversified portfolio of businesses continues to strengthen our competitive advantage as our leading presence in home and insurance bolster our recovering consumer segment," commented CFO J.D. Moriarty.
Since these results, the stock has fallen from around $330 to around $270. Clearly, G Kennedy Thompson sees value at that level. We see this insider buying as a bullish signal.