WaMu's Killinger Ups Stake in Firm

Washington Mutual chairman and chief executive Kerry Killinger recently purchased 50,000 shares in the company, a transaction that cost him just shy of $2 million.

Mr. Killinger bought the shares in mid-November in the open market at a price of $39.57 per share or $1.98 million. In mid-February, the stock was trading at about the same level.

A company spokesman noted that the CEO bought the shares with his own money. "It is not part of his compensation package," he said.

According to trading records, Mr. Killinger and his wife, in a separate transaction, also donated 50,000 WaMu shares to their charitable foundation.

When an executive makes a large purchase in his company's shares it tends to be a bullish sign.

In recent comments to Wall Street analysts, WaMu has outlined a five-year strategic plan to increase earnings per share and improve return on equity.

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