Investing 101: The Top 10 Losers That Have Seen Insider Buying

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In the midst of the downgrade, the market values of many stocks have been plummeting. For many investors, this presents an enormous opportunity to buy into companies at a discounted price.

For this list, we wanted to find the companies that have lost the most value in the current quarter. From the universe of the top 600 losers, we looked for stocks have seen more insider buying than insider selling over the last six months (excluding exercised options).

Many analysts follow insider-buying trends because, after all, insiders know more about their companies than anyone else. Their investment activity is closely monitored and can tell us a lot about where they feel the business is heading.

Insider buying is represented as a percentage of the share float. This is the percentage of share float that is currently being shorted, where share float is the number of shares available for trading. Companies experiencing insider buying over the past six months provide an indicator that insiders think the stock is undervalued at current levels. Inversely, insider selling serves as a negative indicator.

For each company, we'll list the average number of shares purchased by insiders on the open market over the last six months as well as how much the value has dropped over the quarter.

Insiders seem to be enthusiastic about the prospects of their employers despite their massive losses over the quarter. Do they know something we don't? Full details below.

Data sorted by insider buying as a % of float. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Theravance (NAS: THRX) : Biotechnology Industry. Market cap of $1.49B. Current price at $17.6. Over the last quarter the stock has lost 32.46%. Net insider purchases over the past six months at 5189200 shares, equivalent to 12.36% of the company's 41.97M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.48% (equivalent to 15.65 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -19.97% below its SMA20, -21.87% below its SMA50, and -26.% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.97% over the last week.

2. Saks (NYS: SKS) : Department Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.32B. Current price at $8.1. Over the last quarter the stock has lost 29.93%. Net insider purchases over the past six months at 4696280 shares, equivalent to 4.4% of the company's 106.63M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.63). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 24.29% (equivalent to 10.35 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -22.92% below its SMA20, -24.73% below its SMA50, and -28.77% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 19.96% over the last week.

3. AbitibiBowater Common Stoc (NYS: ABH) : Paper & Paper Products Industry. Market cap of $1.52B. Current price at $15.6. Over the last quarter the stock has lost 42.01%. Net insider purchases over the past six months at 3608951 shares, equivalent to 4.38% of the company's 82.31M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.87% (equivalent to 10.05 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -15.28% below its SMA20, -24.03% below its SMA50, and -36.33% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 10.5% over the last week.

4. American Superconductor (NAS: AMSC) : Diversified Electronics Industry. Market cap of $303.69M. Current price at $5.99. Over the last quarter the stock has lost 48.5%. Net insider purchases over the past six months at 1508478 shares, equivalent to 3.86% of the company's 39.06M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 22.86% (equivalent to 6.93 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -17.42% below its SMA20, -23.93% below its SMA50, and -71.04% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 13.06% over the last week.

5. Accuride (NYS: ACW) : Trucks & Other Vehicles Industry. Market cap of $345.87M. Current price at $7.32. Over the last quarter the stock has lost 45.29%. Net insider purchases over the past six months at 1005420 shares, equivalent to 3.47% of the company's 29.01M share float. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -35.78% below its SMA20, -39.94% below its SMA50, and -45.49% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 31.59% over the last week.

6. Vantage Drilling (NYS: VTG) : Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market cap of $357.51M. Current price at $1.23. Over the last quarter the stock has lost 30.9%. Net insider purchases over the past six months at 5350210 shares, equivalent to 3.18% of the company's 168.44M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.06). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -22.32% below its SMA20, -29.16% below its SMA50, and -33.43% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 20.13% over the last week.

7. Ardea Biosciences (NAS: RDEA) : Drug Manufacturers Industry. Market cap of $408.58M. Current price at $15.32. Over the last quarter the stock has lost 43.22%. Net insider purchases over the past six months at 495549 shares, equivalent to 2.32% of the company's 21.39M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.18% (equivalent to 12.57 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -32.56% below its SMA20, -36.03% below its SMA50, and -39.67% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 28.54% over the last week.

8. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (NAS: AUXL) : Drug Related Products Industry. Market cap of $675.62M. Current price at $14.09. Over the last quarter the stock has lost 37.52%. Net insider purchases over the past six months at 973072 shares, equivalent to 2.22% of the company's 43.90M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 19.2% (equivalent to 11.15 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -23.08% below its SMA20, -27.93% below its SMA50, and -34.44% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 15.12% over the last week.

9. Central European Media Enterprises (NAS: CETV) : Broadcasting Industry. Market cap of $781.69M. Current price at $12.14. Over the last quarter the stock has lost 48.49%. Net insider purchases over the past six months at 433358 shares, equivalent to 1.74% of the company's 24.97M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 3.12). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.67% (equivalent to 8.03 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -29.55% below its SMA20, -35.49% below its SMA50, and -40.21% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 30.9% over the last week.

10. TransAtlantic Petroleum (NYS: TAT) : Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market cap of $375.99M. Current price at $1.03. Over the last quarter the stock has lost 54.22%. Net insider purchases over the past six months at 1668640 shares, equivalent to 0.84% of the company's 199.46M share float. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -26.66% below its SMA20, -38.7% below its SMA50, and -61.66% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 14.17% over the last week.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.


Kapitall's Becca Lipman does not own any of the shares mentioned above. Insider Data sourced from Fidelity, all other data from Finviz.

At the time this article was published Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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