sagelogo80 Sage directors have not been great fans of the company shares for a while now, transacting only share sales, no purchases, over the last twelve months.

Most notable for their timing were sales by the Group CFO and the CEO of Mainland Europe and Asia, in September 2008 at 190p, just before the shares along with the rest of the stockmarket collapsed into a hole. The share sales were made after exercising options, but I view the sale of all 100% of the shares exercised as a negative signal. For a neutral view, directors would sell only sufficient shares to pay for their tax liability on the options exercise, usually around 40%.

Sage last week announced results. The Wall Street Journal commented that ‘ trading in the three months to Dec. 31 had met its expectations, but its shares fell amid concerns over its U.S. performance and uncertain outlook’ (February 4th)

Sage (SGE, 178p) on Friday announced that Guy Berruyer, the CEO of Mainland Europe and Asia, had sold 75,000 shares at 176p, taking his holding to 240,000 shares. I view this as a negative signal, and adopt a cautious view on the shares.

View on Sage: Negative

Strength of Signal: Medium