You are currently browsing the daily archive for August 5, 2008.

I questioned earlier this year why we’d seen a lot of activity in the Recruitment Sector (Michael Page, SThree, Robert Walters). Either things weren’t as bad as the market forecasts for economic slowdown were indicating (unlikely given the high sensitivity of the sector to any change in economic growth), or we were to ‘expect future merger activity within the sector’.

Patience is a virtue. Those of you who have been patient are now rewarded after todays bid approach for Michael Page (MPI, 346p) from Adecco (news comment from Bloomberg here).

Michael Page are up 15% absolute and up 30% relative to the FTSE 250 since my note of November 25th.

For past commentary on the sector click here: Recruitment Sector

Robert Dickinson, a board member and former President and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines at Carnival (CCL, 1793p) is using the recent bounce in the share price from a low of 1450p to sell down his holding in the Carnival and P&O cruise line business.

On June 24th he sold 18,000 shares at 1761p, realising £317,000.

On August 1st he sold 40,000 shares at 1864p, realising £715,000.

This leaves him with 160,000 shares in CCL.

Is Dickinson planning a cruise for his retirement, or does he think that the risks are on the downside for CCL ?

August 11th: Carnival announce that on August 8th Howard Frank, Vice Chairman and Chief operating Officer sold 66,000 shares at an average price of $ 39.6159    taking his holding in Carnival to 294,416 shares.

So now Frank and Dickinson between them have taken about $4.5m or £2 1/4m out of Carnival shares in the last 8 weeks. Not a positive indicator for the shares.

The ‘strength of signal’ derived from directors dealings moves from medium to STRONG.

I tend to concur with the Telegraph article of 29th June ‘Carnival shares no safe harbour’. Link to article here.

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August 2008