One financial industry heavyweight is putting his money where his bank is.
Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer and chairman of JPMorgan Chase, has bought 500,000 shares of the company’s stock, with the purchases coming on Thursday (Feb. 11), said The Wall Street Journal.
It’s a big chunk of money, at a $26 million tally, with a purpose centered on routing at least some of the negativity that has battered bank stocks. Dimon’s hefty buy comes in the wake of a 20 percent loss in the name so far this year. As has been well reported, the sector has sold off twice as hard as the broader markets, which are themselves firmly in correction territory.
WSJ quoted CLSA Analyst Mike Mayo as saying in response to Dimon’s actions: “Jamie Dimon stepped up to the plate. It’s a big number.” The recent market decline is “either a financial catastrophe, or this is an epic buying opportunity, and Dimon is in position to know what outcome is more likely.”
Cumulatively, Dimon now owns more than 6.7 million shares of the stock, at a value of $357 million. A number of names in the sector are trading at half of book value. That may pique investor interest. The rout has slammed the banking sector hard enough so that they have coughed up three years of gains. In other signs of sanguine outlook for banking names, Citigroup — which had a 7 percent drop in common shares in just the first few weeks of the year — saw its chief financial officer, John Gerspach, buy $500,000 worth of shares, with CEO Michael Corbat and Chairman Michael O’Neill also buying in, to the tune of $1 million each last month.