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 now:

The week's buying

Company

Closing price 3/27/07

Total value of stock purchased

52-week change

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK)

$31.08

$6,423,770

(2%)

Hawk Corp. (NYSE:HWK)

$9.75

$252,886

(29%)

IndyMac Bancorp (NYSE:NDE)

$29.53

$2,109,479

(29%)

Owens Corning (NYSE:OC)

$31.87

$1,888,916

16%*

U-Store-It Trust (NYSE:YSI)

$19.74

$446,035

(2%)

Sources: Fool.com, Yahoo! Finance, Form 4 Oracle, SEC filings.
*Owens Corning began trading on Nov. 1, 2006.

Chesapeake calling
I can't tell you how much I wish I could ignore Chesapeake for today's column. Why? I'll be up against the stock with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) in the Final Four of Stock Madness.

Nevertheless, to ignore Chesapeake after a $6 million stock purchase from CEO Aubrey McClendon would be a disservice to you, our readers.

Not that you'd actually look the other way -- even if I asked you politely. Witness the overwhelmingly bullish sentiment among the stock pickers following Chesapeake in our Motley Fool CAPS investor-intelligence database:

Metric

Chesapeake

CAPS stars (out of five)

*****

Total ratings

1,305

Bullish ratings

1,261

Bull ratio

96.6%

Bearish ratings

44

Bear ratio

3.4%

Bullish pitches

298

Bearish pitches

10

Data current as of March 28, 2007.

What gives? Fourth-quarter results probably helped. Per-share earnings and revenue blew away analyst estimates thanks, in part, to greater production.

Then there's Chesapeake's potential pricing power, as CAPS All-Star udlee described in this pitch:

"[Chesapeake] continues to add reserves at very attractive prices. The latest acquisition averaged 2.10 per mcfe. It is located in the Barnett Shale Zone -- a very active natural gas field in the Fort Worth area. They should hold their finding and production cost to below 1.90 mcfe. This adds up to big profits in the future."

Finally, there's the valuation. Philip Durell, who leads our highly-recommended Motley Fool Inside Value service, values the shares at roughly 60 cents on the dollar. That's pretty cheap, and it may explain why McClendon -- whose holdings comprise roughly 3.9% of the outstanding shares -- is still buying.

Of course, no stock is without risks. I'll get into that Friday when Chesapeake and Apple throw down in the next round of Stock Madness. Tune in then.

A storage space for your portfolio
I'm a pretty cautious growth investor, which means I'm rarely attracted to turnaround stories. But I'll admit to being intrigued by U-Store-It -- a real estate investment trust that, as its name implies, operates self-storage facilities throughout the U.S.

Last month, the board tossed three of the founders for reasons that aren't yet known. But investors, possibly smelling scandal, have punished the shares. U-Store-It has since reported that its first-quarter funds from operations would come in below Street expectations.

That's hardly inspiring. And yet the remaining management doesn't seem the least bit bothered by the mess. Days after the disappointing guidance made headlines, directors David Larue and John Dannemiller combined to purchase 22,500 new stubs.

I'd call that more than a leap of faith. Instead, they seem to think the sellers have it backward. That's enough to get me interested in performing more research. Look for this one on my CAPS watch list later today.

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

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers, who is ranked 1,272 out of more than 25,000 in CAPS, usually favors two scoops of ice cream over the inside scoop. Tim didn't own stock in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. All of his portfolio holdings can be found at Tim's Fool profile. His thoughts on insider buying, Foolishness, and investing in general may be found in his blog. Chesapeake Energy is an Inside Value pick. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is a strong buy.


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