Laird plc (LRD, 150p) ‘provide technology for an increasingly connected world’ in the form of  Electronic Components and Antennae enabling wireless connectivity (see co website for the lowdown).

They last declared results at the end of July for the June half year, showing an operating cash flow of GBP 28m for the half year (or GBP 12.9m after tax and financing). For a company with a market cap of GBP 270m that looks pretty good (co slide presentation here).

On October 21st Laird issued an interim management statement, the key points of which we saw as ‘we continue to match our direct labour to changes in demand’ and ‘Laird remains extremely strong with low financial gearing and double-digit interest cover’ (full statement here).

In March the executive directors Hill, Silver and Rapp all exercised options and sold roughly the required amount to pay tax, at 494p per share.

In the last week four directors , including Peter Hill (CEO) and Jonathan Silver (CFO) above have been buying shares as follows (source London Stock Exchange):

22nd October :

Christopher Hum, non exec, buys 1512 shares at 161.675p per share taking his holding to 3000 shares.

Jonathan Silver, CFO, buys 20,000 shares at 167p per share, taking his holding to 210,000 shares

23rd October:

Peter Hill buys 18,000 shares at 156.36p, taking his holding to 200,000 shares, and finally

24th October:

AJ Reading, non exec, buys 3000 shares at 147.25p per share, taking his holding to 15,000 shares.

What do we think?

1. Four directors buying shares, mix of non exec and exec, shows confidence in the current half year performance of the group.

2. The size of purchases is however in three cases only 10-20%. I’d love to see a greater commitment.

3. Buying in times of huge uncertainty in the market is worth more to us as a signal than buying in stable times.

View on Laird: Positive- four directors buying

Significance of purchase: High/Strong– four directors buying in times of turmoil, four months into the half year.

See also ’25 directors buy shares in UK engineering companies’  (October 28th followthedirectors.co.uk)