You are currently browsing the daily archive for October 14, 2008.

[See also May 4 post: ‘Directors share sales outnumber buys- Is the market expensive?’]

[See also subsequent post on October 31st: ‘ Directors ARE buying shares. Buys vs Sells 10:1’]

A question many of you have is whether directors are currently buying shares, and presumably does that indicate a turning point in the market?

The straight answer is ‘no more than usual’.

If you use digitallooks excellent visual tools facility, you can ask them to show you the number of directors buying or selling over a certain period.

As at last Friday, the number of companies in the FTSE 350 indicating net directors dealings over GBP 50k over the period I asked for (1, 3 and 12 months) were as follows:

1 month to October 10 2008:

26 companies showed net selling over a cumulative GBP 50k, and 32 companies showed net buying.

3 months to October 10th 2008:

58 companies showed net selling, and 54 companies net buying

12 months to October 10th 2008:

144 companies showed net selling, and 130 companies net buying.

I’ve just today run the analysis for the last seven days (to October 13th) and it shows

4 companies showing net selling, and 9 companies showing net buying.

I believe that this is not statistically significant due to the short period and the low number of companies exhibiting activity. Please also bear in mind that digitallook uses data as announced by the stock exchange, which will include the receipt by directors of scrip dividends, share options, and Incentive Plan subscriptions.

In followthedirectors research I exclude all Incentive Plan and dividend receipts, and any sales that are made to pay tax on options exercised. I aim to look at shares sold to receive cash, or shares bought with cash.

For a list of directors dealing activity use the category criteria on the top left of this page, or click on the following: Directors Buys, Directors Sales.

On April 25th we saw Samir Brikho, CEO of Amec (AMEC, 525p), increasing his holding by 50% and investing close to GBP 500k Amec– a difference of opinion CEO buys, CFO sells.’ 


On Friday October 10th Brikho bought a further 50,000 shares at 497p, investing GBP 250k, taking his holding to 232,000 shares.

Other directors have also been active:

October 7th Non executive Tim Faithfull buys 5000 shares at 533p, doubling his holding to 10,000 shares, and

October 8th, Jock Green-Armytage, Non executive Chairman, increases his holding by 50% by buying 5000 shares at 509p.

Also in September Ian McHoul, the new CFO, bought 9000 shares at 746p to take his holding to 60,000 shares.

In the three months after Brikhos April 25th purchases, Amec outperformed the FTSE 100 by 30%. They have now given up all that outperformance against the index, and with the share price near 500p represent another opportunity.

View of Directors dealings: Positive signal with three directors buying in the last week.

Strength of signal: Remains STRONG

For all Amec comments click here.

Back in May this year four executive members of the board (White, Farley, Kiloran and Bryant) of Persimmon (PSN, 377p) sold shares at 567p. Within eight weeks Persimmon shares were trading at 220p.

On September 30th we saw the first purchase of shares at Persimmon by the senior independent non executive director David Thompson. Mr Thompson invested almost GBP 80,000 for various members of his family by buying 20,000 shares at 398p.

Thompson increased his (and his familys’) holding in Persimmon by 50%, taking their holding to 60,000 shares.

These purchases don’t score highly on my ‘significance’ rating, because only one director is buying shares. I thought it worth recording though due to the size (GBP 80k) and the increase in shareholding (50%).

View of directors dealings: Positive- director is buying shares

Significance of the transaction: Low / Weak as only one director buying shares

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October 2008