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Weekly Top Insider Buys: American Express Company, Aquila Inc., Williams Partners L.P., Holly Corp., Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.

December 14, 2007 | About:

This is the top insider buys of the week. Related Companies: American Express Company (AXP), Aquila Inc. (ILA), Williams Partners L.P. (WPZ), Holly Corp. (HOC), Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PSUN).

American Express Company (AXP): Director Peter Chernin Bought 3,500 Shares

Credit card companies, including American Express Company (AXP), will continue to have rise in delinquent payments until next year. American express recently won a $2.25 billion settlement against Visa and MasterCard. The company announced a third quarter earnings increase by 18% to $0.90, and an income increase by 15% to $1.1 billion.

While John Keeley bought 18,950 shares, both Richard Pzena and George Soros sold out their holdings in AXP. Currently, Warren Buffett owns 151,610,700 shares as of 09/30, which accounts for 13.68% of the $65.81 billion portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway. Eleven other gurus still own AXP shares: Robert Olstein,Wallace Weitz, Ron Baron, Jean-Marie Eveillard, Ruane Cunniff, Joel Greenblatt, Tom Gayner, Tweedy Browne, Chris Davis, Dodge & Cox, and Kenneth Fisher.

Director Peter Chernin made his buy of 3,500 shares last Friday at $57.12. EVP and CFO of AXP, Daniel T. Henry purchased 19,594 shares on 11/09 at $55.88. Other directors made purchases between $55.94 and $62.33: Jan Leschly bought 32,000 shares, Robert D. Walter bought 30,000 shares, Steven Reinemund bought 5,000 shares, Ursula M. Burns bought 3,000 shares, Daniel F. Akerson bought 5,000 shares; and Richard A. Mcginn bought 1,000 shares.

A large insider sell was made by CEO of U.S. Consumer Division, Judson C. Linville, who sold 65,027 shares between $58.90 and $59.33 as of August.

American Express Company has a market cap of $63.24 billion; its shares were traded at around $54.56 with P/E ratio of 15.92 and P/S ratio of 2.14. The dividend yield of American Express Company stocks is 1.3%.

Aquila Inc. (ILA): Director Nicholas J. Singer Bought 658,039 Shares

The gas and electric utility operator, Aquila Inc. (ILA), posted a third quarter net profit drop of 65% to $40.5 million or $0.11 compared to a previous $115.7 million or $0.31. In third quarter of 2006, Aquila took in a one-time large gain of $56 million from selling its Minnesota natural gas business. Early this year, the company sold Everest for $85.7 million to a private equity firm, Sea Capital Partners. Due to opposition from the utility regulatory commission, Aquila failed to make the $1.7 billion sale of power companies in Kansas City this quarter.

Guru John Keeley increased his shares to 3,621,500, and guru Arnold Schneider reduced his shares to 22,500.

Director Nicholas J. Singer made his stock purchases last week: 260,000 shares at $3.76, and 398,039 shares at $3.93.

Aquila Inc. has a market cap of $1.45 billion; its shares were traded at around $3.91 with P/E ratio of 21.99 and P/S ratio of 1.02.

Williams Partners L.P. (WPZ): Director H. Michael Krimbill Bought 20,000 Shares

This December, Williams Partners LP (WPZ)—a natural gas processor—planned on closing a $750 million deal to buy part of gas processing plant Wamsutter in Wyoming. Williams Partners will offer $9.25 million shares of stock at $37.75 to help pay for the Wamsutter purchase. Higher interest expense from a 2006 acquisition resulted in a third quarter profit drop of 35% to $29.4 million, or $0.62 compared to the 2006 third quarter profit of $45.4 million, or $0.58. The company estimated that a recent plant fire will cost $10 to $20 million in damages for the fourth quarter.

Two significant insider buys were made last week by Director H. Michael Krimbill, who bought 20,000 shares at $38.15, and COO & Director Alan S. Armstrong, who bought 5,000 shares at $38.25.

Williams Partners L.P. has a market cap of $1.47 billion; its shares were traded at around $36.9 with P/E ratio of 18.33 and P/S ratio of 2.57. The dividend yield of Williams Partners L.P. stocks is 5.7%.

Holly Corp. (HOC): Director Thomas K. Matthews II Bought 10,000 Shares

Holly Corp. (HOC) planned to close a $180 million deal around the fourth quarter to acquire tank and pipeline assets in West Texas and New Mexico. The petroleum refining and marketing company announced a third quarter profit decline by 26% to $58.1 million, or $1.04 compared to a previous $79 million, or $1.37. Although third quarter revenue increased by 3.1% to $1.21 billion, the loss of production time in one of its refineries caused the profit to drop.

Chairman & CEO, Director Matthew P. Clifton bought 15,000 shares on 11/29 at $47.61, and Director Thomas K. Matthews II bought 10,000 shares on 12/05 at $47.50. Directors William J. Gray and Robert G. Mckenzie each made their sell of 4,860 at $63.25 and $60.85, respectively. Director Paul T. Stoffel sold a total of 180,000 shares between $59.57 and $64.68.

Holly Corp. has a market cap of $2.65 billion; its shares were traded at around $46.83 with P/E ratio of 8.12 and P/S ratio of 0.60. The dividend yield of Holly Corp. stocks is 1%.

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PSUN): Director George R. Mrkonic Jr. Bought 15,000 Shares

Teen apparel retailer, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PSUN), faced a slight sales drop to $373.1 million from $375.4 million. The company took a third quarter loss of $20 million, or $0.29 compared to earnings of $9 million, or $0.13 in the previous year. The retail sector is feeling the burdens in the economy, from credit and housing troubles to high oil and consumer prices.

NWQ Managers and HOTCHKIS & WILEY bought 3,284,976 and 1,572,469 shares, respectively. Also, Richard Snow and Arnold Van Den Berg both own shares pf PSUN stock at 7,013,963 and 919,638 shares.

Director George R. Mrkonic Jr. bought 15,000 shares at $16.41, and Director Julius Jensen III sold 10,000 shares at an average $21.60.

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. has a market cap of $1.08 billion; its shares were traded at around $15.28 with P/S ratio of 0.72.


  • CEO Buys, CFO Buys: Stocks that are bought by their CEO/CFOs.
  • Insider Cluster Buys: Stocks that multiple company officers and directors have bought.
  • Double Buys:: Companies that both Gurus and Insiders are buying
  • Triple Buys: Companies that both Gurus and Insiders are buying, and Company is buying back.

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