My first reaction was to think that these purchases were simply to comply with conditions to serving on the board. I've not been able to determine whether the same occurred at the end of 2011. If it's a replay, that would help to support the argument that the purchases are required annually and have no real significance.
It's interesting to note that all the purchases were all on the part of independent board members, and I believe that is important. As a way of putting more pressure on management and lining their own pockets, the board may have recently voted to provide all board compensation in stock. Since I don't believe management employees who also serve on the board receive separate compensation for doing so, they would be excluded. Since management is probably prevented from purchasing shares during this period of anguish for the common stockholders, this action would have amounted to an expression of increased unhappiness with the management company. Outside directors may be confident that the stock is under priced and want to show support for the stock price, but are pleased that members of the management company don't have the same opportunity to buy the stock at this depressed level.
I wonder if the outside directors would consider severing their relationship with the management company, and NLY as a result? That would certainly be a dramatic move, but perhaps appropriate.
It's allowable, only because it's in their employment contracts, as a year-end thing. Hence, not a positive indicator in itself. However, CIM is poised to soar in 2013. Happy New Year!
Sentiment: Strong Buy