V.6:6 (214-217): If the boss only knew technical analysis by Vincent Cosentino

V.6:6 (214-217): If the boss only knew technical analysis by Vincent Cosentino
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If the boss only knew technical analysis by Vincent Cosentino

When a company official, director or a large stockholder buys stock in the company, this has to be a sign that green grass and blue skies are ahead. After all, who knows the company better than the people in charge of running it?

Virtually every company has incentive plans to motivate the top officials. Included in these packages are such perks as stock options and rights that allow the official to buy company stock below market and realize an instant profit. Sometimes, the company even provides a low-cost loan to help the officer make the purchase.

However, it is when insiders purchase stock in the open market, at market price and with their own out-of-wallet cash that the spotlight should come on. That's because the officer usually has a single reason for the purchase—he or she expects the price of the stock to move up.

Despite the recent unmasking of some infamous examples of illicit insider trading (the most flagrant being the Ivan Boesky and Dennis Levine scheme), insider trading is legal within limits. Officers, directors or a large stockholder can lawfully purchase stock in the company if they do so without making use of important, non-public information. Examples of this would be an unannounced, revolutionary new product or a substantial, unexpected earnings improvement.

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