I notice today the big underperformer in Sydney today is Brambles (BXB, A$ 7.45).

Poor results and some spiel about weakening consumer spending in the US, and the fact that they still haven’t resolved the Walmart negotiations (see Bloomberg comment here).

Lets step back to my comments of March 23rd :‘Brambles directors have been buying through 2006 and 2007, at prices between 506p and 557p in 10s and 20s (thousands of shares). The stock peaked in October 2007 at 650p. Then, last week, Craig van der laan de Vries, ‘Group President of CHEP Asia Pacific’ sells almost 20% of his holding, 160,000 shares at 440p, raising £702,000.’

In fact since March 20th Mr de Vries has sold over 700,000 shares in Brambles, realising £3.2m (AUD $6.6m), and leaving him with only 130,000 shares (source digitallook.com).

Since my comments on March 23rd Brambles shares are down 23% in AUD terms, and have underperformed the local market by almost 20% !!

So, shareholders and investors, why didn’t Mr van der Laan de Vries tell us what was going on then. Maybe the board were hoping you wouldn’t find out about the pressure from Walmart, or that the slowdown resulting from a fall in consumer spending would go away.

I can only imagine things continuing to deteriorate for Brambles.

For previous negative comments on Brambles of March 23rd and June 2nd see link here.