Capital Markets

GM Imposes Trading Blackout

Even though the automaker is current in its financial filings, it takes the unusual step of barring a number of executives and employees from buyin...
Stephen TaubJune 28, 2005

General Motors has indefinitely barred some senior executives and other employees from trading its stock, according to the Associated Press. A May 24 memo announcing the trading blackout was reportedly directed to individuals with access to internal financial information.

Toni Simonetti, a company spokesperson, didn’t say how many people are affected by the blackout, according to the wire service, which noted the company has about 400 senior executives.

Like all publicly traded companies, GM has periodic “blackout” periods during which employees are barred from trading stock until the company releases quarterly financial results. “What’s notable in this one is that it’s been mandated right now because of the lack of financial guidance in the public domain,” Simonetti told the AP.

Even so, it is unusual for companies to impose an indefinite blackout, especially when they are current in their financial filings. Fannie Mae, which is embroiled in a major accounting scandal, recently told all of its 5,000 employees they could not trade the company’s stock until it files its delayed and restated results. And Freddie Mac is currently restricting 800 individuals from trading their company stock.

Simonetti told the wire service that the ban will be lifted when GM’s legal advisers feel it’s appropriate to start trading again. “I suspect that would be at a time when we are getting back to a routine environment here,” she added.