CP POKPHAND CO'S substantial share buy-backs in the past two years did not lead to the counter outperforming the market, but insider buying by the company's major shareholder, Thailand's Chearavanont family, did. In fact, the Chearavanonts have an uncanny talent for buying shares in both the Hong Kong companies they control - CP Pokphand and Orient Telecom & Technology Holdings - before the shares begin to outperform the market. Since the family bought shares in Orient Telecom on January 12, the share price has soared nearly 35 per cent from $2.08 to $2.80. On the heels of Orient Telecom's massive outperformance, the family is buying shares in Pokphand, which lagged the market during the recent rally. Considering the Chearavanonts' track record, it would seem their recent insider buying in Pokphand can only mean good things for the share price over the next few weeks. And it might not be too late to catch a ride on Orient Telecom, too. A closer look at the company reveals that, even after its recent increase, the counter is still trading at a substantial discount to the net asset value (NAV) of its principal asset, a 25 per cent stake in Thailand's TelecomAsia. Although the Chearavanonts authorised the spending of $109 million worth of Pokphand funds for company buy-backs in the past two years, they have been less liberal with the family funds, making just one $3.8 million purchase of Pokphand stocks in the same period. But they made this purchase count as Pokphand shares outperformed the market by 14 per cent after the Chearavanonts' purchase on February 15 last year. Nearly one year after their last purchase, the Chearavanonts again are buying the shares of Pokphand. Through their holding company, Pakeman, the company bought 5.2 million shares at $1.74 a share on January 13, and two million shares at an average price of $1.68 each on January 26. These two recent purchases appear to be exceptionally well-timed as they occurred around the counter's 12-month low of $1.67 on January 23, and at what many perceive to be the market's low. Although the market timing of the Chearavanonts' insider buying seems exceptionally shrewd, the share lagged the market during the recent rally, meaning that either the family has lost its touch, or, outperformance is still around the corner.