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The Restaurant Group (RTN, 117p) has outperformed the FT Small Cap by 20%, or the FT All Share by 15% since it was written up here on March 14th : ‘Consumer stocks at risk? Not TRG according to directors‘.

When impressive interim results were announced in August, analysts warned of the impact of cost pressures on the group: ‘Frankie and Bennys profits surge comes with a warning’ (Scotsman 30/8/08). Maybe with collapsing commodity prices those cost pressures are now turning into benefits?

Our opinion on The Restaurant Group remains positive, and is reinforced by the purchase of 200,000 shares at 104.2p on Monday October 20th by John Jackson, a non executive Director, trebling his holding to 300,000 shares.

Opinion on Restaurant Group: Positive

Strength of Signal: Remains STRONG

Only three days ago, on Sunday October 19th, I highlighted directors buying at Charter plc (CHTR, 390p) at between 314p and 345p: Charter plc – directors buy after shares fall by 2/3rds this month.

I wanted to see more than two directors buying for directors dealings in Charter plc to justify a Strong signal to investors. A further two directors have announced their purchases.

On October 17th non executive Chairman Lars Emilson bought 5,000 shares at 320p, taking his holding to 10,000, and yesterday John Biles, another non exec, bought 5000 shares at 411.75p, taking his holding to 8,000 shares.

As a result of these purchases the Signal strength for directors dealings exhibited at Charter plc goes to STRONG, with a positive view.

View on Charter plc: Positive, directors buying

Signal strength: STRONG.

Senior plc’s (SNR, 50p) trading statement gets a positive reception from the press, who point to both the low valuation but also the risk to orders from the ongoing Boeing strike:

Telegraph article‘Questor says Buy’Times article :‘those with mettle should buy’.

The Directors of Senior however have been busy buying shares in the market.

  • September 18th: CFO Simon Nicholls bought 5000 at 85p initiating a position.
  • October 9th: Non exec Martin Clark (for Mrs Clark) bought 30,000 shares at 72.5p, taking their holding to 90,000 shares.
  • 20th October: Non exec Michael Steel bought 20,000 at 40p initiating a position.
  • 21st October: Non exec David Best bought 20,195 at 49.15p taking his holding to just over 40k.
  • 21st October: David Ryan, a PDMR, bought 10,000 shares at 42.5p, initiating a position.
  • 21st October: Simon Nicholls, CFO, averaged down by buying 15,000 shares at 46p taking his position to 20,000 shares.

So you can see what the directors of Senior think about their share price!!

Unfortunately these purchases don’t score as high as they might, despite having five directors /PDMRs buying shares and all initiating a position or increasing holdings by at least 50%.

I’d love to see more $$ committed to move this to a STRONG signal. The average purchase is less than GBP 10k. 

View on Senior plc: Positive

Signal strength: MEDIUM (need to see greater cash commitment for this to be a Strong signal).

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October 2008