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Back in August last year, the CFO of BT Group (BT.A, 99p) Hanif Lalani, invested GBP 100,000 at 171p.

On Friday he was joined by his CEO Ian Livingstone, who bought 99,500 shares at 99.7p, taking his holding to 759,000 shares, in addition to over 2.5 million deferred compensation and incentive shares.

This isn’t a buy signal.

Livingstone has been in and out of BT all year, and this purchase does not signal any change in behaviour. Livingstone bought at 230p in February 2008, sold at 233p and 172p in May and August, and bought at 163p in August also. Make of that what you will!

For a positive signal on the stock, we need to see more non execs buying. Chairman Sir Michael Rake bought at 127p and 166p in September and November 2008, almost doubling his holding by buying 32,000 shares. BT has seven other non execs, and they haven’t bought yet.

View on BT Group: Neutral

Signal from directors dealing activity: WEAK

Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL, 1420p) are being squeezed.

‘The average passenger’s age is 45+’ (http://cruises.about.com), and those potential customers of Carnival are being squeezed in their spending power by falling interest rates, falling pension and savings valuations, and other pressures on them such as highlighted in Saturdays Telegraph:

“A Daily Telegraph survey – the first of its kind since the recession began – highlights the heavy toll being taken on Britain’s so-called “Babygloomers”.

Almost one in ten adults are having to contribute to their parents’ upkeep, the research found. The Norwich Union research suggests more than 1.3 million adults aged between 17 and 65 are paying their parents more than £250 each month, with some paying up to £1,000.

Many pensioners have found themselves struggling as their income from savings has virtually disappeared following the drop in interest rates. As a result, they have been forced to turn to their children for help” (Telegraph.co.uk February 14th 2009).

Carnival directors Howard Frank and Robert Dickinson were sellers back in June and August last year, raising over $4 million between them through share sales.

Peter Ratcliff, the former CEO of Princess Cruises Intl, on Febraury 2nd sold 12,567 shares at 1245p, raising over GBP 150k.

The stock since August has performed in line with the market, in my view rescued by falling oil prices. I can imagine that booking a cruise has a long lead time, so any bad news on Carnival is likely to appear later in the consumer cycle rather than sooner.

Carnival cut their dividend in November, saving over $1bn a year.

I continue with my negative view on the shares, with a ‘STRONG’ signal from directors share sales.

For all posts on Carnival click here.

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