Who's Buying Now?

It's a new week, which means it's time to check the most interesting insider purchases. After reading through numerous filings using insider tracking tool Form 4 Oracle, here are my top five from the past seven days:

The week's buying

Company

Closing price 10/31/06

Total value of stock purchased

52-week change

Art Technology Group (Nasdaq: ARTG  )

$2.50

$53,231

108%

Home Bancshares (Nasdaq: HOMB  )

$22.06

$800,649

10%*

Sigmatel (Nasdaq: SGTL  )

$5.19

$49,800

(63%)

Sturm, Ruger& Co. (NYSE: RGR  )

$8.33

$287,901

14%

Zhone Technologies (Nasdaq: ZHNE  )

$1.42

$276,506

(35%)

Sources: Fool.com, Yahoo! Finance, Form 4 Oracle, SEC filings
*Home Bancshares began trading on June 23, 2006.

Stock market Art
It's entirely possible that I have an acute case of bubble fever, but it seems like every time I turn around there's another tech stock trying to make a comeback. This week's phoenix? E-commerce enabler Art Technology Group, which has become an increasingly popular choice among the investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS:

Metric

ATG

Total ratings

35

Bullish ratings

30

Bull ratio

85.7%

Bearish ratings

5

Bear ratio

14.3%

Bullish pitches

4

Bearish pitches

0

Source: Motley Fool CAPS

What gives? Frankly, I'm not entirely sure. Business has been bumpy, after all. ATG earned $2.3 million in Q2, only to lose $285,000 in the recently completed third quarter. Either period may define the real Art Technology Group.

Executives, however, are betting on Q2. Two executives, specifically. CEO Robert Burke first acquired 5,000 shares on Thursday; board member Ilene Lang, who bought 18,000 shares, followed later the same day.

Here's why the buying may prove to be smart: in September, ATG beefed up its portfolio of services by acquiring e-commerce customer care specialist eStara for roughly $48 million. As a result, management has revised its full-year sales target upwards to $100 million to $108 million.

What's more, the additional capabilities offered by eStara, which are geared to help e-retailers close more business, could smooth earnings and boost cash flow. Meanwhile, analysts now expect ATG to grow the bottom line by an average of 20% annually over the next five years for a price-to-earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio of 1.14, well below the industry average of 1.46. That's good enough to earn a spot in my CAPS portfolio.

When Wall Street ignores you, buy
Recently, Foolish colleague Tim Hanson singled out Sturm, Ruger & Co. as a potential winning small cap that's been utterly ignored by Wall Street. A halt to its otherwise sterling dividend payment punished the firearms maker over the summer.

Back then, insiders responded by purchasing shares. And now they're buying again. Between last Wednesday and Friday, 36,000 stubs were added to the portfolios of new CEO Michael Fifer and board members James Service and Ronald Whitaker, who led the buying with 12,000 shares at $8 a stub.

I wonder: Is Bill Mann's prediction in the pages of Motley Fool Hidden Gems -- that the dividend suspension would be "short-lived" -- about to be proven true? Don't take your eyes off this one, Fool.

And that's all for this week. See you back here next Wednesday when we dig through more insider deals in search of the next home run stock.

Get the inside scoop on stocks of all sizes with related Foolishness:

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Fool contributorTim Beyersusually favors two scoops of ice cream over the inside scoop. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. Get the skinny on all of the stocks in his portfolio by checking Tim's Foolprofile. The Motley Fool'sdisclosure policyis a strong buy.


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