Wednesday, November 09, 2005

DiMartino: Follow the Housing insiders' money

by Bill McBride on 11/09/2005 04:38:00 PM

DiMartino follows the money:'s a good thing the people running the homebuilding companies got out when they did.

So far this year, insiders at Toll have sold $588 million worth of the company's stock – representing nearly 10 percent of the current market capitalization. Robert Toll, chief executive, has liquidated north of $110 million.

As a group, Thomson Research senior quantitative analyst Mark LoPresti said, industry insiders have sold $976 million in 2005.
In the last six months, homebuilders have sold, on average, $347 for every dollar they've spent purchasing their own stock. Compare that to all industries, where insiders have sold $31 in stock for every dollar they bought.

Mr. LoPresti said July was the key month for homebuilder shareholders to watch what insiders were doing with their own shares.

"In July alone, homebuilding insiders liquidated 4.8 million shares of stock, the largest number in history, raising $333 million," Mr. LoPresti said.

The last time homebuilder insiders were this aggressive was May 1991, when they sold off 3.1 million shares in one month. This was followed by a 27 percent decline in homebuilder stocks over the next four months.