When insiders buy shares on the open market, their companies could enjoy bullish times ahead. Corporate insiders often have the inside track on their companies' prospects, and often have significant exposure to the company's stock through options or restricted shares that are part of their compensation. Besides, insiders probably wouldn't risk plowing too much of their own money into their own company's stock -- reducing their portfolio's diversity, and increasing its risk -- unless they thought the stock will rise.

With that in mind, I screened for companies where at least one insider made an open-market buy in the last 30 days. These five computer equipment stocks made the list:


Net Number of Buys

No. of Shares Bought

Total Value

Market Cap
(in millions)

Amphenol (NYSE: APH)  2  117,300  $5,080,000  $7,237
Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN)  2  203,339  $1,360,000  $652
Harmonic (Nasdaq: HLIT)  2  30,000  $167,000  $560
Methode Electronics (NYSE: MEI)  15  39,295  $49,000  $335
KEMET (NYSE: KEM)  1  300  $4,000  $422

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, as of Aug. 10, 2011.

When it comes to the number and total value of insider open-market buys, more can be better; I've sorted this table accordingly. Insiders at Amphenol made two open-market purchases worth more than a whopping $5 million, while an insider buy at KEMET was worth a mere $4,000. Both are bullish signs, but the Amphenol purchase looks more promising.

Methode Electronics is the only repeat from when I ran the screen previously. One stock that made the list last month but not this month is Lexmark (NYSE: LXK), which popped 21% in intraday trading a couple of weeks later as investors piled in due to better-than-expected quarterly results.

Foolish takeaway
Insider buying signals that someone who should be in the know is betting that the stock will rise. You can use this list of recent insider purchases as a starting point for further research -- or a good reason to make a contrarian play.

Are these insiders right? To help you find out, the Motley Fool recently introduced a free My Watchlist feature. You can get up-to-date news and analysis by adding companies to your Watchlist now: