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Miguel Ramis, Compass’ Head of European Operations, not a board director, but an individual of PDMR (person with direct management responsibility) has sold 120,000 shares at 355.89p leaving him with 548,000 shares (London Stock Exchange February 6th 2009).

Compass Group (CPG, 355p) have been a wonderful outperformer relative to the market, up 50% since we turned positive on the shares on March 18th (‘followthedirectors: The Compass points North‘) as a consequence of share purchases by Roy Gardner the Chairman, and Richard Cousins the CEO.

If you remember, the market had concerns over food price inflation, and whether or not Compass would be able to recover increased costs in their contracts.

The company statement announcing Ramis’ share sale describes him using the proceeds ‘used in repect of settlement of the specific lending obligations‘.  Doesn’t that mean he’s paying down a loan?

I interpret this as a lame excuse for his share sale, and I am happy to take profits on shares bought in March at 309p, a performance 50% better than that of the FTSE 100 index.

View on Compass Group: Negative

Strength of Signal: Medium

I’m going to start to look more closely at using recent director dealing activity as a signal ahead of news. (I’m unsure about the reliability of what is essentially a long term signal being used as a forecast for short term movements in share prices. We’ll see how it goes shall we.)

All stocks listed below have news out next week.

All these stocks have seen director dealing activity which I have commented on. Click on the stock ticker to take you to the comment(s).

My favourite pick for positive feedback from an analysts visit is MISYS.

ENO neutral bid situation. Interims 13/5

ARM warm already had +ve Q1 on 29/4. AGM 13/5

CPG warm already had +ve trading update 27/3. Interims 14/5

MSY POSITIVE CEO, CFO, COO increased positions by 14%/50%/60% in late March. Analyst visit 14/5

AMEC POSITIVE CEO increased position by 50% spending £500k in April. AGM 14/5

CKSN POSITIVE CFO and CEO increased positions by 90% and 45% mid March. Trading Statement 15/5

III warm CEO Rea bought £500k on March 4th. Prelims 15/5

GFRM neutral already had trading update 1/5. AGM 16/5

All news dates are taken from Google Finance. They have not been verified with the companies themselves.

Sir Roy Gardner- Compass Group Chairman

I was intrigued to see, on the 13th March, Roy Gardner, Chairman of Compass group PLC (CPG, 309p) putting £200k to work (25,000 shares at 310p). I looked at managements track record with investing in their company, and found them to be pretty successful- no great blunders, but not trading in and out either.

Richard Cousins, Compass Group CEO

I decided then that Compass Group should be watched. And hey presto, my inbox today shows the CEO Richard Cousins increasing his stake by 20% by buying 50,000 shares at 301.25p, investing £300k.

News ahead? Maybe a reassuring comment at the Trading Update on March 27th (see financial calendar).

Compass image

See also ‘The Compass points South‘ February 8th 2009.

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