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Stock Investing For Dummies®, 3rd Edition by Paul Mladjenovic

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Chapter 20. Corporate Skullduggery: Looking at Insider Activity

In This Chapter

  • Using documents to track insider trading

  • Examining insider buying and selling

  • Understanding corporate buybacks

  • Breaking down stock splits

Imagine that you're boarding a cruise ship, ready to enjoy a hard-earned vacation. As you merrily walk up the plank, you notice that the ship's captain and crew are charging out of the vessel, flailing their arms, and screaming at the top of their lungs. Some are even jumping into the water below. Quiz: Would you get on that ship? You get double credit if you can also explain why (or why not).

What does this scenario have to do with stock investing? Plenty. The behavior of the people running the boat gives you important clues about the near-term prospects for the boat. Similarly, the actions of company insiders can provide important clues into the near-term prospects for their company.

Company insiders are key managers or investors in the company. Insiders include the president of the company, the treasurer, or another managing officer. An insider can also be someone who owns a large stake in the company or someone on the board of directors. In any case, insiders usually have a bird's-eye view of what's going on with the company and a good idea of how well (or how poorly) the company is doing.

In this chapter, I describe different kinds of insider activities, such as insider buying, insider selling, corporate stock buybacks, and stock splits. I also show you how to keep track ...

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