Research In Motion's top executives, including co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, have not purchased any of the company's shares on the open market since last year, a new report claims.
According to Bloomberg, which compiled data on stock purchases made by RIM executives, none of the company's "insiders" has acquired shares on the open market since July 2010. Over the last year and a few months, those people have, however, sold off stock "at least 11 times," Bloomberg's research has found.
From a personal financial perspective, the move may have behooved RIM's executives, considering that since July 2, 2010, the company's shares have dropped $29.04, or about 56 percent. However, from a business perspective, the lack of purchases might prove even more troublesome for an already embattled stock price.
At public companies, executives are by no means required to buy company shares on the open market. However, if they do so, it shows some confidence in the company's prospects for the future and signals to Wall Street that any troubled times at the firm won't last. When executives balk at buying shares and engage in a yearlong sell-off, as RIM's executives apparently have, it tends to cause shareholders to lose trust in the stock.
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For RIM shareholders, the fact that executives aren't buying the company's stock might be the least of their worries. The company's troubles are numerous and partly relate to its seeming inability to offer devices--both smartphones and tablets--that can appeal to customers as much as Apple's iPhone or iPad. What's more, shareholders are becoming increasingly concerned that having two CEOs running the company is more of a liability than an asset, especially considering the chief executives don't seem willing to modify the company's focus.
Even with all that, though, RIM's financial performance tells a very different story. The company still generates billions of dollars in revenue every quarter, and tallies strong profits. In its fiscal second quarter, ended August 27, RIM generated a profit of $329 million on nearly $4.2 billion in revenue. During its last fiscal year ended February, the company posted a profit of $3.4 billion--nearly $1 billion more than it made in its previous year.
Still, investors aren't happy with RIM's direction. And judging by Bloomberg's findings, executives may not be either.
RIM did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.