Recent market volatility is enough to make your head spin, and can cause plenty of confusion for retail investors seeking a solid market strategy. It’s tempting to look to the experts, but that raises another question: which experts are the best to follow? There are plenty to choose from. Wall Street’s corps of professional stock analysts provide frequent and relevant commentary on hundreds of publicly traded stocks, but some investors want to consult opinions that originate a bit closer to the stock in question. For them, following the insiders – corporate officers whose jobs put them in a position to know the inner workings of their companies – can provide valuable stock hints. To make that search easier, the TipRanks Insiders’ Hot Stocks tool gets the footwork started – identifying stocks that have seen informative moves by insiders, highlighting several common strategies used by the insiders, and collecting the data all in one place. Fresh from that database, here are the details on three Strong Buy stocks showing ‘informative buys’ in recent days. Energy Transfer (ET) We’ll start with a midstream company in the energy sector. Midstreamers are the companies that move energy sources – crude oil and natural gas, their derivatives, and other fuels – from the wellheads to the refiners and transfer points. It’s a necessary network in the hydrocarbon industry, and Energy Transfer exists right in the middle of it. The company’s transport network spreads across 38 states, connecting the Appalachia, North Dakota, and Texas-Oklahoma-Louisiana regions. Energy Transfer controls pipelines, terminals, and tank farms for oil and gas products. In Q1, ET reported net income of $3.29 billion, up by more than $4 billion from the net loss in the year-ago quarter. Per share, earnings came to $1.21. The company’s cash flow also grew substantially. ET reported $3.91 billion in distributable cash flow, compared to the $1.42 billion in 1Q20, for a gain of 175%. Energy Transfer used that cash flow to fund its dividend, at 15.25 cents per common share and payable on May 19. At that rate, the payment annualizes to 61 cents per share, and gives a strong yield of 6.11%. On the insider front, Ray Washburne, of Energy Transfer’s Board of Directors, made several purchases of ET stock recently. Two of those purchases, totaling 200,000 shares and purchased for approximately $1.9 million. His total holding in the stock now exceeds $4.2 million. Covering this stock for Evercore ISI, analyst Todd Firestone takes note of the sound quarterly report, and believes the company is moving in the right direction. “ET ticks every major investment theme, massive, diversified portfolio, clear path to deleveraging, focus on returns vs. growth, protection from commodity and volume swings, and an unchallenging valuation, trading well behind peers. There are two key takeaways on which we think investors ultimately focus on from [the earnings] results, i) guidance improved independently from the storm with systems operating at or above pre-COVID levels, and ii) the extra earnings are already in the bank and were used to pay down $3.7 Bn in debt,” Firestone wrote. To this end, Firestone gives ET shares an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating, along with a $14 price target that implies a 38% upside potential for the year ahead. (To watch Firestone’s track record, click here) It’s clear from the unanimous Strong Buy consensus rating that Wall Street agrees with Firestone’s take on this stock. ET has 9 positive reviews on file. The stock is selling for $10.17, and its $12.67 average price target suggests ~25% one-year upside. (See ET stock analysis on TipRanks) New Fortress Energy (NFE) Let’s stick with the energy industry, but shift gears a bit and take a look at the natural gas segment. New Fortress Energy provides funding, construction, and operational maintenance for fully integrated natural gas energy projects in underdeveloped areas around the world. The company defines its mission as bringing clean and affordable energy onto the global marketplace. New Fortress has operations in Jamaica and Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil, and Western Ireland. In its report on the first quarter of this year, Fortress showed $145.7 million in total revenues, up 95% year-over-year, although flat from the previous quarter. In other news, the company’s gas projects in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Brazil are all proceeding on schedule. Two previously announced acquisition deals, of Hygo Energy Transition and Golar LNG Partners, were closed during the quarter, at a combined value of $5.1 billion. The company also shored up its liquidity position during the quarter. It completed a private offering of senior secured notes, $1.5 billion in total, due in 2026, and closed a $200 million secured revolving credit facility. Turning to the inside trades, John Mack, COB and Board member of New Fortress, made a series of stock purchases recently, totaling 24,000 shares. At the average price paid of $39.88, these were worth more than $957,000. In a detailed note on New Fortress, Evercore analyst Sean Morgan sees the company developing a solid foundation and improved profitability. “NFE has expanded its regasification capacity at a very rapid rate and has had to acquire third-party LNG cargoes to meet demand at its facilities…. NFE is also working to develop two offshore FLNG projects… The net result of this supply chain integration is to self-provide gas at a fixed price of $3-4/mmbtu, with first gas expected in 2022,” Morgan wrote. The analyst continued, “For the upcoming quarter, NFE will see the partial-quarter direct contribution of its newly acquired assets of GMLP and Hygo, as the transaction closed on April 15th. We expect the contribution of GMLP’s assets amid an improving LNG carrier spot rate market to improve the profitability of the company in 2Q21, as NFE also continues to ramp its growing regasification business (including Hygo) and FLNG export projects.” Based on the above, Morgan gives NFE shares an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating. His price target of $64 implies a 12-month upside potential of 60%. (To watch Morgan’s track record, click here) Overall, of the 5 recent analyst reviews on file for New Fortress, 4 are to Buy and 1 is to Hold, giving the stock its Strong Buy consensus rating. The shares are trading for $40.02 and have an average price target of $53.20, giving them an upside potential of 33% for the coming year. (See NFE stock analysis on TipRanks) Green Brick Partners (GRBK) Last but not least is Green Brick, a Texas-based company in the land-development and home acquisition sector. This is a growth segment of the economy; real estate and home prices have been rising lately. Green Brick invests in land, which it then provides as plots for development projects. The company also provides financing for construction costs. Green Brick’s recent Q1 revenues came in at $234.5 million, up 9.9% year-over-year. On the negative side of the ledger, revenues have been slipping since 3Q20 – but the company typically shows short cycles of rising and falling quarterly revenues, and the overall trend in the past two years has been upwards. EPS has shown a similar patter, and the Q1 print, at 51 cents per share, was up 64% from the year-ago quarter. The strength of the residential real estate sector can be seen by the share performance. GRBK shares have appreciated an impressive 155% in the past 12 months. Turning to the insiders, we find that Harry Brandler, of the company Board, this week purchased 25,000 shares of stock, in a series of transactions totaling over $552,000. It was his second large stock buy this year; the earlier purchase, in March, was 20,000 shares for $428,000. Brandler’s stake in Green Brick now reaches $1.9 million. Analyst Aaron Hecht, in his coverage of Green Brick for JMP Securities, sees the company on firm footing, despite the sequential declines. “The delivery shortfall was not all that unexpected given the company’s massive increase in backlog. Management continues to leverage its exposure to the Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta markets and is capitalizing on Millennial home purchases and pandemic-related relocations from urban environments. We believe the current housing cycle has legs through 2022,” Hecht noted. The analyst added, “Net new orders totaled 1,082 homes for 1Q21, up 71% yr/yr and a record number of homes for the company…. Sales in the entry-level and first move-up categories, often an indicator of Millennial, homebuyers totaled 36%, which is double the percentage just two years ago.” All in all, Hecht rates GRBK shares as Outperform (i.e. Buy), with a $30 price target to suggest room for a 30% one-year upside. (To watch Hecht’s track record, click here) The recent reviews on Green Brick break down 3 to 1 in favor of Buys versus Holds, and support the Strong Buy analyst consensus rating. The shares are currently priced at $23 and their $32 average price target implies ~40% upside from that level. (See GRBK stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
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