Insider Buys at 52-Week Low Prices

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During the past week, four companies have reported insider buys as their prices have dropped to or neared a 52-week low. Looking at insider buys at 52-week lows can be interesting because (to paraphrase Peter Lynch) an insider will only put their personal money into the company if they think the stock price will go up.

The following four companies reported insider buys at their 52-week lows:

Ares Commercial Real Estate ( ACRE )

As Ares Commercial Real Estate's share price has hit a 52-week low seven different insiders have made buys of the company's shares. The following seven buys all occurred on June 20.

Three directors bought a total 188,000 shares at $13.50 per share.

Co-CEO Todd Schuster added 30,000 shares to his stake at $13.50 per share. The transaction cost him a total of $405,000. Schuster currently holds 37,027 shares of Ares. Since his buy, the price per share has dropped an additional 5.48%.

President and COO Bruce Cohen bought 25,000 shares at $13.50 each. This cost Cohen a total of $337,500. He currently holds at least 40,000 shares of Ares.

VP and General Counsel Michael Weiner bought 11,111 shares at $13.50 each. This cost the VP a total of $149.998.50. This was Weiner's first buy of company stock.

Co-CEO John Bartling bought 22,222 shares at an average price of $13.50 per share. This cost the CEO a total of $299,997. Bartling now owns at least 35,722 shares of company stock.



Ares Commercial Real Estate is a specialty finance company organized as a REIT. The company provides solutions to meet the distinct and underserved financing needs of middle-market commercial real estate, which ACRE generally defines as assets with values of $15-100 million.

On June 21 the company made a public offering of 18 million shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $13.50 per share. The transaction closes at the close of business on June 26.

Ares share prices took a tumble as they released their first quarter financials which reported:

� Net loss attributable to common stockholders was $0.3 million, or $0.04 per diluted share.
� Core earnings (loss) were $0.9 million or $0.09 per basic and diluted common share.
� The company also announced the proposed acquisition of Alliant Capital LLC.

The analysis on the company reports that the dividend yield is close to a 1-year high, the price has dropped beneath its previous 2-year low of $13.08 and the P/S ratio of Ares is at a 1-year low.

Jim Simons , First Pacific Advisors and Pioneer Investments maintain holdings in Ares. Click here to see their holding histories.

Saratoga Resources ( SARA )

Two insiders made buys into Saratoga Resources last week. The two corporate executives made their buys on June 14.

President Andy Clifford bought 2,105 shares of Saratoga stock at an average price of $1.89 costing him a total of $3,978.45. Clifford now holds on to over 2.6 million shares of Saratoga. Since his buy, the price per share has decreased approximately 12.7%.

Chairman, CEO and 10% Owner Thomas Cooke bought 2,000 shares at an average price of $1.98 per share. This cost the CEO a total of $3,960. Cooke now holds on to over 6.1 million shares of Saratoga.

It should also be noted that two directors significantly reduced their positions. On June 18, Director John Rhea sold out of the company by selling his remaining 14,909 shares at $1.93 per share. This brought in $28,774 for the director. On June 20, Director Kevin Smith sold 8,000 shares at $1.73, leaving him with just under 200,000 shares.



Saratoga Resources is an independent exploration and production company with offices in Houston, Texas and Covington, Louisiana. Saratoga is an oil and gas development, exploration and production company. Saratoga Resources is an independent oil and natural gas company engaged in the production, development, acquisition and exploitation of natural gas and crude oil properties.

The company's first quarter financials report:

� Oil and gas revenues of $19.26 million compared to $19.34 million in the same quarter 2012.
� Cash flow of $5.1 million, or $0.16 per share, compared to $5.8 million, or $0.21 per share, in the first quarter 2012.
� Net loss of $1.1 million, or $0.03 per share, compared to the net loss of $1.2 million, or $0.04 per share, in the same quarter of 2012.
� Production was down 9.3% from the first quarter 2012 to the first quarter 2013.

Saratoga's historical price, revenue and net income:



Saratoga Resources has a market cap of $50.4 million; its shares were traded at around $1.65 with a P/E ratio of 5.40 and a P/S ratio of 0.60. Saratoga had an annual average earnings growth of 46.8% over the past five years.

Jim Simons is the only guru that holds a stake in Saratoga Resources. You can view his holding history here.

Fifth Street Finance ( FSC )

On June 20 two corporate executives made significant buys into Fifth Street Finance.

CEO Leonard Tannenbaum added 20,000 shares to his stake. These shares traded at an average price of $9.94 per share for a total purchase amount of $198,000 for Tannenbaum. Since his buy, the price per share has increased approximately 1.51%. As of his most recent purchase, the CEO holds nearly 2 million shares of the company's stock.

President and Secretary Bernard Berman added a much smaller 1,000 shares to his holdings. He bought these shares at an average price of $9.95 per share for a total transaction amount of $9,950. Since his buy, the price per share has increased approximately 1.41%. Berman currently holds at least 20,968 shares of Fifth Street.



Fifth Street Finance is a specialty finance company that lends to and invests in small and mid-sized companies in connection with investments by private equity sponsors. The company's investment objective is to maximize its portfolio's total return by generating current income from its debt investments and capital appreciation from its equity investments.

Fifth Street Finance announced the closing of its acquisition of Healthcare Finance Group on June 13. FSC appointed Dan Chapa as the new CEO of Healthcare Finance.

Fifth Street Finance's historical price, revenue and net income:



The analysis on Fifth Street reports:

� Revenue has been in decline for the past three years
� The company has issued $746.755 million in debt over the past three years.
� The P/E ratio is nearing a 5-year low of 9.5.

According to the Peter Lynch Valuation Chart, Fifth Street Finance appears to be undervalued:



Fifth Street Finance has a market cap of $1.21 billion; its shares were traded at around $10.09 with a P/E ratio of 10.00 and a P/S ratio of 6.10. The dividend yield of Fifth Street Finance stocks is 11.50%. The company had an annual average earnings growth of 36.7% over the past five years.

Jeremy Grantham and David Einhorn hold a stake in Fifth Street Finance. Click here to see their holding histories.

Harris & Harris Group ( TINY )

On June 14, two corporate executives made significant buys into Harris & Harris.

Senior VP Robert Burns bought 1,500 shares at an average price of $3.27 per share. This cost the VP a total of $4,905. Since his buy, the price per share has dropped an additional 5.2%. Burns currently holds on to 38,580 shares of Harris & Harris stock.

Chairman and CEO Douglas Jamison purchased 4,000 shares of his company's stock at an average price of $3.27 per share. This cost the CEO a total of $13,080. Since his buy, the price per share has dropped 5.2%. Jamison currently holds on to at least 196,334 shares of company stock.



As the insider chart above shows, Harris & Harris has strong insider ownership. These insiders increase their buying as share prices drop.

Harris & Harris is an internally managed venture capital company specializing in nanotechnology and Microsystems. The company's primary investment objective is to achieve long-term capital appreciation by making venture capital investments. Generation of current income is a secondary objective. The company defines venture capital investments as the money and resources made available to privately held and publicly traded small businesses that it believes have exceptional growth potential.

Harris & Harris' historical price, revenue and net income:



Harris & Harris has a market cap of $96.3 million; its shares were traded at around $3.10 with a P/E ratio of 10.90 and a P/S ratio of 137.00.

Chuck Royce currently maintains shares of Harris & Harris. Click here to see his holding history.

You can screen to find insider buys at 52-week lows by using the GuruFocus All-in-One Screener. About GuruFocus: GuruFocus.com tracks the stocks picks and portfolio holdings of the world's best investors. This value investing site offers stock screeners and valuation tools. And publishes daily articles tracking the latest moves of the world's best investors. GuruFocus also provides promising stock ideas in 3 monthly newsletters sent to Premium Members .



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing

Referenced Stocks: ACRE , FSC , SARA , TINY

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