SEC Rule 10b5-1 Plans and Strategic Trade around Earnings Announcements
42 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 5, 2016
We examine how corporate insiders profit from private information about future earnings performance through SEC Rule 10b5-1 trading plans. We first provide evidence consistent with insiders using 10b5-1 plans to sell stock in advance of disappointing earnings results. We then examine insiders who not only currently use 10b5-1 plans, but also actively traded their own company’s stock prior to the availability of such plans. We find that this group traded aggressively on earnings information prior to 10b5-1, but then shifted their aggressive trading into 10b5-1 plans after the availability of planned trading. We also document several questionable patterns associated with their trading behavior. Namely, their trades tend to be irregularly timed, close to the plan initiation date, infrequent in nature, and executed during traditional earnings blackout periods. In terms of firm characteristics, these insiders are more likely to be employed at firms with weaker firm governance and lower institutional ownership.
Keywords: Insider Trading, Rule 10b5-1, Earnings Announcements
JEL Classification: G32, M41, M52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation