‘I’m a believer in my company’ — Lowe’s CEO says that’s why he’s personally buying shares

Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison said Wednesday he’s been personally buying shares of the home improvement retailer during the difficult times of the coronavirus outbreak because he’s optimistic about the future.

“I’m a believer in my company,” CEO Marvin Ellison told CNBC’s Jim Cramer Wednesday. “I’m here for the long term.”

“We think that we will create a great value and we’ll create a great opportunity for shareholder value over the long term,” Ellison said in the “Mad Money” interview. “As CEO, if I don’t have confidence in the company, then I don’t know who will.”

Ellison’s own purchases of Lowe’s shares come as stock buyback plans by companies draw fire in Washington.

Corporate buybacks — which decrease the amount of shares trading publicly and can often lead to higher stock prices — are completely different than a CEO buying stock in his own company in a show of confidence.

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban last week said any corporations receiving bailouts from the federal government should be banned from buybacks forever.

Later, President Donald Trump signaled that he would be “okay” with restricting companies receiving federal assistance from repurchasing shares, all while lawmakers were putting together a massive stimulus package.

In the $2 trillion package that the Senate presented on Wednesday, the legislation calls for an end of stock buybacks, as well as dividends payouts, for one year after bailout money is paid back to the government.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the Lowe’s CEO was talking about his personal purchase of company shares during the coronavirus downturn.

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