Countrywide Leads Insider Selling Spree
When the subprime mortgage collapse gathered speed two weeks ago, Eric Sieracki at Countrywide Financial (CFC) sought to calm his investors' nerves.
"This is the pain phase of a healthy cycle," the CFO said at an investment conference in San Francisco. "We've been through these kinds of cycles before and we've seen another day. ... We're a top-conditioned athlete."
Doubtless that's why his fellow executives and directors are throwing stock overboard on a heroic scale.
Insiders at Countrywide, the nation's largest mortgage lender, have sold $314 million worth of shares in the company just since August. That's according to regulatory filings tracked by Interactive Data Corporation.The sales include a staggering $94.5 million by chief executive Angelo Mozilo, and $17.5 million by mortgage division chief David Sambol. Naturally insiders are perfectly entitled to sell shares, and in the case of Countrywide Financial, the stock price has, at least, held up -- sort of. It's only fallen a fifth from its peak to $35.22. But it hardly makes you feel confident. It should be added that this is not something new. Insiders were also dumping stock heavily through 2004 and 2005. As they often have to exercise options before selling the stock, what they have pocketed will be less than $314 million. What's interesting is that the insiders at Countrywide are not alone.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV