For many investors, there is no greater vote of confidence than seeing insiders buy shares in the open market. Insider purchasing often spurs thoughts of “what’s coming up?” for retail investors. However, it could simply be a valued opportunity to purchase shares at a reduced price in a solid company. It is the Jim Cramer mentality of buying “a broken stock, not a broken company” that often serves investors well in the long-term by exercising patience while developments continue to mature.
Unilife Corp. has seen its share price slide since its move to the United States and commencement of trading on the NASDAQ exchange (in addition to continued listing on the Australian Stock Exchange under the ticker UNS) just over one year ago. Unilife, a medical device company focused on the design, development, manufacture and supply of a proprietary range of retractable syringes, peaked in initial trading in excess of $26 per share, but found itself comfortably channeling in the area of $5 after the initial burst of enthusiasm by investors subsided several months later.
The Company holds key arrangements with industry-giant Sanofi-Aventis for the Unilife pre-filled syringes and is well-positioned within the industry as production in its new state-of-the-art facility is nearing soon. There are more than 2.5 billion pre-filled syringes used each year with an annual growth rate of greater than 12 percent and Sanofi sits perched amongst the leaders in this arena. Contracts are in place with Sanofi which has resulted in milestone payments already being received by Unilife as it continues to hit targets and execute their business strategies to capitalize as an industry leader in this prosperous field.
Today, Unilife announced that announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Alan Shortall, has made open market purchases of Company shares as CHESS depositary interests (CDIs) on the Australian Stock Exchange. Mr. Shortall, who is the largest shareholder of Unilife, purchased a total of 632,713 CDIs at an average price of A$0.795 (US$0.80) per share, with an approximate value of A$503,000 (US$507,000). Each CDI represents an interest in one sixth of a share of the Company’s common stock traded on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Commenting on the Company and the purchase, Mr. Shortall stated, “Unilife is now entering a new phase of its business expansion as we finalize preparations to manufacture and commence the supply of our Unifill prefilled syringes to pharmaceutical customers by the end of June 2011.”
“Over the coming months, we will be seeking to formalize agreements with a number of interested parties regarding the Unifill syringe and some of our other exciting pipeline products,” he continued. “I am very pleased with the Company’s recent progress, and our ability to continue to deliver upon our key business milestones. However, I do not believe that our current strong business position is adequately reflected in the valuation of Unilife’s shares. Consequently, I have chosen to increase my personal investment in Unilife in an effort to take advantage of this valuation gap. Furthermore, as the opportunity arises, I expect to further accumulate shares in Unilife over the coming months.”
More on Unilife and its unique line of products can be found on the Company’s website at www.unilife.com