McDonald’s, Hanesbrands, Dillard’s See Big Insider Stock Buys

This year, McDonald’s stock has been underperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average, of which it is a component.

Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

The stock market has been buffeted by volatility so far this year. Supply shortages, a rush into value from growth, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have created one of the most challenging markets for equity investors to manage in recent memory.

Executives and directors representing a broad survey of the market have recently taken the opportunity to buy stock for the first time in years, or for the first time. Fast-food giant McDonald’s (ticker: MCD), apparel maker Hanesbrands (HBI), and department-store chain Dillard’s ( DDS ) all saw material insider stock buying.

McDonald’s director Catherine M. Engelbert paid $244,180 on Feb. 28 for 1,000 shares, an average price of $244.18 each, according to a form she filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Engelbert, commissioner of the Women’s National Basketball Association, now owns 2,041 shares. The last time she purchased stock on the open market was two years ago, February 2020 when she paid $192,130 for 1,000 shares, a per-share average price of $192.13.

McDonald’s didn’t respond to a request to make Engelbert available for comment.

McDonald’s stock, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average , has slipped 12% so far this year. Shares are coming off a 52-week intraday high of $271.15 on Jan. 4. The stock is doing worse than other Dow component stocks, as the index has dropped 7.5% year to date.

Meanwhile, Hanesbrands stock touched a 52-week intraday low of $14.51 on Feb. 24, but the year-to-date loss stands at 7.5%—better than the 9.2% drop in the S&P 500 index.

On the day that Hanesbrands stock set a low, CEO Stephen B. Bratspies paid $501,600 for 34,292 shares, an average price of $14.63 each. He made the purchase through a trust that now owns 93,754 shares; Bratspies owns another 837,743 shares in a personal account. It’s Bratspies’ first open-market purchase of shares of Hanesbrands, whose brands include Hanes and Champion, since he joined the company in 2020 from Walmart (WMT), where he served as chief merchandising officer.

“We are creating a brand new HanesBrands, focused on growth and consumer centricity,” Bratspies wrote in an email to Barron’s. “We have made rapid progress on our Full Potential plan, including growing our global Champion brand and re-igniting innerwear growth, in spite of the extremely difficult operating environment. I am more optimistic than ever in our long-term growth potential as we invest in our iconic brands, our people and our supply chain.”

Dillard’s stock, in contrast to shares of McDonald’s and Hanesbrands, is up 4.0% so far in 2022, and has tripled in the past 12 months. Ted Weschler, an investment lieutenant for Warren Buffett, notably had a profitable trade in the retailer’s shares.

Dillard’s director Warren Stephens paid $4.6 million on Feb. 23 for 20,000 shares, an average price of $230.51 each. He made the purchase through a limited liability company that now owns 94,668 shares; Stephens owns another 32,302 shares through a trust. Stephens last purchased the stock on the open market in August 2018, paying $764,080 for 10,000 shares, an average price of $76.41 each.

Stephens didn’t respond to a request for comment on his stock purchase.

Inside Scoop is a regular Barron’s feature covering stock transactions by corporate executives and board members—so-called insiders—as well as large shareholders, politicians, and other prominent figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.

Write to Ed Lin at edward.lin@barrons.com and follow @BarronsEdLin.