Insider Buying in Jefferies (JEF)
Jefferies (JEF) small but interesting insider buy last week from director Melissa Weiler of 4,000 shares at $32. This is the first open market buy since July 2020 and largest in over four years. Shares have traded well in 2021 up over 30% and flagging now below 52-week highs with a breakout over $34 targeting a run to $40. The $8.29B company trades 10.88X earnings, 0.95X sales, and 12.9X FCF with a 2.45% yield. JEF engages in investment banking and capital markets with a focus on financial advisory, equity underwriting, equity research and debt underwriting. Shares jumped recently after Sumimoto agreed to take a 5% stake in the company for $386M and will also provide $1.9B in credit financing. The move comes as more Japanese banks are looking to the US in search of growth and deal-making opportunities. JEF is coming off of a strong quarter driven by IB as well as higher trading revenues lifted by elevated volumes across asset classes. Analysts have an average target for shares of $30.50 with a Street High $40. KBW positive on the name noting they see an improved fundamental outlook for Jefferies Group and the Merchant Bank, as well as a more constructive backdrop to monetize assets and ramp up share buybacks. Hedge fund ownership fell 2.8% in Q1. Luxor Capital a buyer.