What Are Corporate Insiders Seeing that Makes them Dump their Shares Like This?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
By Paul Martin

by Wolf Richter
WolfStreet.com
September 23, 2014

Merger Monday evokes fond memories of 2007 and 2008, of mega deals breathlessly reported on CNBC, when everything was still possible, until it all fell apart. But mega deals have been gracing the headlines again, and deal volume has soared, and Merger Monday is back. With the hoopla of IPOs and other wondrous events that are part of the daily circus on Wall Street, what could CEOs, officers, and directors possibly be fretting about?

And apparently, they are fretting. Only 7,181 insiders bought shares of their own companies so far this year through September 12, down 8% from a year ago, while 23,323 sold shares, according to Bloomberg – approaching the worst buy-sell ratio since 2000.

This insider aversion for their companies’ stock is in sharp contrast to stock buybacks that their companies have undertaken. When it comes to using their own money, insiders have become very bearish, diversifying out of their companies, selling hand over fist. When it comes to using other people’s money, they have no such compunction: corporate share buybacks reached a near record in the first half. And for the trailing 12 months, according to FactSet, buybacks jumped 29% to $539 billion.

The Rest…HERE

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