Bank of America directors Robert W. Scully and Charles Holliday bought substantial shares of BAC on Tuesday. Charles Holliday purchased 30,000 shares at $12.61, paying nearly $380,000. Robert Scully purchased 39,500 shares at a slightly lower price of $12.4485, paying nearly half a million dollars.
Insider trading has historically been very profitable both for insiders and outsiders imitating insiders. However, profits are lower in large cap companies like Bank of America (BAC) because insiders have less of an information advantage over outsiders. This is usually not the case in smaller companies.
Robert Scully was a member of the Office of the Chairman at Morgan Stanley between 2007 and 2009 and Co-President of Morgan Stanley from February 2006 to December 2007. Robert Scully has been a member of the board of directors of BAC since August 2009. He’s on the Audit and Compensation and Benefits Committees. The last time Robert Scully made a transaction was in October 2009, 3 months after being a director at BAC. He spent more than a million dollars and purchased 62,000 BAC shares at $16.79. He lost more than a quarter of that investment while the stock market took off more than 10% during the same time period. So far he doesn’t seem to be a great insider.
Charles O. Holliday Jr. was the CEO and Chairman of DuPont, an industrial company. Charles Holliday has been a member of the board of directors of Bank of America since September 2009. He’s on the Corporate Governance and Credit Committees. This is his first open market transaction. This transaction is a small part of Holliday’s net worth. Given that he doesn’t have a background in banking and finance, we’re going to assume that he doesn’t have the prowess to derive accurate valuation estimates.
The two issues that stand out for us are that these insider purchases in BAC show a clear consensus and that the BAC stock price has been performing terribly. Insider transactions are usually profitable in value companies which experience sharp declines in stock prices. Insider Monkey, your source for free insider trading data, thinks this is purely a value play by these insiders and that the purchases aren’t really based on any specific non-public information.