An Open Window for Insider Sales

In an October 4, 2014 article, The New York Times notes: “When the Securities and Exchange Commission talks, company executives tend to listen. But when these private regulatory discussions involve a company’s accounting practices, something else tends to happen: Many executives rush to dump their shares. And because these sales occur before other investors know that the S.E.C. is poking around, the activity raises an interesting question about market fairness.”

“This intriguing issue is highlighted in a recent study conducted by three academics at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley…What did they find? Significantly larger insider stock sales during the five days before the revenue-recognition comment letters were published. Those sales were roughly 70 percent above normal selling patterns… Chief executives, chief financial officers, directors and other high-level managers contributed to the selling, the study found.”

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