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I’m intrigued.

Galiform (GFRM, 71p) own Howdens Joinery, which supplies kitchens and joinery products to the building trade.

In a week of turmoil in the UK housebuilding industry prompted by Persimmon warning they would stop building new homes, I find that the CFO of Galiform, Mark Robson, makes his first purchase of shares since he joined the board in 2005.

Robson on April 15th bought 132,000 shares at 77 1/2 p, investing £102,000.

As a result Galiform goes on the watch list.

Addendum May 1st : I’m no longer intrigued. Stock is up 7% today on results better than the market anticipated. See reuters comment here.

A Howdens Joinery kitchen

eaga (EAGA, 135p) is a little understood company. It is more than 51% owned by its employees and directors, is trading below it’s IPO price of 181p, and its activities encompass something investors have little experience in, namely working with social housing providers and utilities in the replacement of heating systems.

The shares recently ‘collapsed’ from 200p at the end of February, to 135p now, on the back of an interim report pointing to cost squeezes and demand delays.

In January all the executive directors bought stock, at around 150p. I ignored this signal because the size of the purchases relative to the existing holdings were at 1% irrelevant.

But Malcolm Simpson, a non executive director of eaga, then increased his holding by 45%, investing £38,000. Last week he invested a further £40,000 by buying 30,000 shares at 133p, taking him to 88,000 shares.

And this week Dave Routledge, an Executive Director, has invested £99,000, buying 75,000 shares at 132p. In the context of Mr Routledges pay (£231,000- source: annual report 2007), his investment of £200,000 since January should be seen as significant.

I believe that eaga shares are underheld and the company unknown by UK investment institutions, and that therefore the information on directors dealings as highlighted above is significant.

Also see April 30th post on eaga and Connaught here.

I’m back from a weeks camping holiday with the family to find a whole load of share dealings by UK directors, but nothing hugely inspiring. Most of the ‘regulatory news reports’ issued by companies relate to directors exercising options granted as part of their pay, and selling sufficient shares to raise cash with which to pay the tax man.

In the case of AMEC (AMEC, 752p) I find that CFO Stuart Siddall exercised options on 200,000 shares, and sold them all (April 4th 2008). He has done this before, so this isn’t a change in behaviour. He owns now only 30,000 shares in AMEC, maybe more if you count share awards in the pipeline as options still to be exercised and realised. Maybe he is just a conservative investor.

Now lets look at Samir Brikho, appointed CEO in October 2006. He has about 1m shares in the pipeline, in the ‘Performance Share Plan 2006 and 2002’. Yet he has been buying more. On the 7th April he bought 16,000 shares at 718p, and on the 24th April 50,000 shares at 742p, taking him to 182,000 shares (excluding the unexercised options or shares mentioned above).

Is this significant? I’d say yes. Brikho has spent £483,000 and increased his position in AMEC by 50%.

The caveat on this call is that I don’t have a share transaction track record to look back at, and also that share ownership by the directors of AMEC is currently pretty limited in the number of directors (only 3). But I suspect that is about to change.

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April 2008