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Five stocks with key insider buying Add to ...

2. Schlumberger

A key insider has also done some noteworthy buying in Schlumberger Ltd. , a supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions to the oil and gas industry. It looks like the smart money has spotted some value here since insiders are buying with the stock off by close to 16 per cent so far in 2011.

Schlumberger has a market cap of $93.9-billion and an enterprise value of $96.9-billion. This stock trades at a cheap valuation, with a trailing price-to-earnings of 20.6 and a forward price-to-earnings of 13.6. Schlumberger's estimated growth rate for this year is 30.8 per cent, and for next year it's pegged at 36.4 per cent. This is far from a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $6.06-billion and its total debt is $11.48-billion.

The CEO just bought 6,000 shares, or $414,000 worth of stock, at $69.00 per share. Back in early August, a director also bought 2,700 shares, or $210,420 worth of stock, at $74.60 per share.

From a technical standpoint, this stock is currently trading just above its 50-day moving average and well below its 200-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock recently plunged from its July high of $95.22 a share to a recent low of $54.79 a share. After hitting that low, the stock rebounded sharply to its current price of just under $70 a share.

If you're bullish on this name, I would look to buy the near-term breakout once it trades above some overhead resistance at $70.52 to $71 a share on heavy volume. Look for volume that's tracking in close to or above its three-month average volume of 12.7 million shares. Target a run back toward $75 to possibly the 200-day moving average of $82.28 a share if the breakout is the real deal. You could simply use a mental stop just below the 50-day in case the sellers take back control of this stock.

3. Platinum Underwriters

In the property and casualty insurance complex, a key insider has been active in Platinum Underwriters . This is another situation in which insiders are finding some deep value and buying the stock into weakness since shares are off by over 25 per cent in 2011.

Platinum Underwriters has a market cap of $1.25-billion and an enterprise value of -$190.92 million. This stock currently trades at a cheap valuation, with a forward price-to-earnings of just 7.85. That said, the valuation is based on the company's returning to profitability in 2012. Platinum's estimated growth rate for this year is -222.5 per cent, and for next year it's pegged at 185.5 per cent.

This is an extremely cash-rich company; its total cash position is $1.67-billion, and its total debt is just $250-million. Platinum's total cash per share is $44.81, so with the stock trading at around $33.50, it's actually trading well below its cash-per-share value.

The CEO and president just bought 14,000 shares, or $420,615 worth of stock, at $30.04 per share. The CFO also just bought 3,300 shares, or $99,398 worth of stock, at $30.12 per share.

From a technical standpoint, this stock is currently trading above its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock just broke out to the upside of its sideways trading pattern between $28 and $32 a share on strong volume.

If you're bullish on this stock, I would look to get long off any weakness and simply use a mental stop a few percentage points below the upper end of the range at $32 to $31.50 a share. I would add aggressively to any long position once this stock takes out its 200-day moving average of $35.49 and some overhead resistance at $35.78 on strong volume. Look for volume that's tracking in close to or above its three-month average action of 388,600 shares.

4. Popular

A stock in the regional banking sector whose insiders have done some notable buying in is Popular , which operates in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Insiders are sniffing out some deep value here since this stock is off by a whopping 43 per cent so far in 2011.

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