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In our analysis we have found non execs to substantially outperform executive directors when it comes to dealing in shares in their own company, to the tune of around 12-15%.

For further information on this see our post of April 2nd: ‘Non execs make better investors- by far’

There are a few recent transactions worth pointing out because they are by non execs only:

Homeserve (HSV, 1337p)

After announcing a proposal to divest of its  UK Emergency Services business this week, non execs Mark Morris and Andrew Sibbald each bought 2000 shares in the group, at 1278p and 1244p respectively, on the 22nd May and the 20th May respectively.

They each now hold 2000 shares.

Genus (GNS, 616p)

The animal breeding group have seen purchases by three non executive directors this week. On Monday the Non executive Chairman John Hawkins bought 1000 shares at 576p, taking his holding to 5100 shares. Mike Buzzacott bought 1000 shares at 578p, taking his holding to 1000 shares.

And on Tuesday Barry Furr bought 5000 shares at 600p, taking his holding to 8000 shares.  There are no imminent financial results due, but there have been bid rumours in Genus in the past. See our post of October 16th ‘Genus breeding positive directors’.

National Grid (NG., 587p)

Three non execs have bought into National Grid shares. Bob Catell, also a Deputy Chairman, bought 10,000 shares in ADR form, investing about 80,000 pounds, and taking his holding to 50,000 shares (May 21st).

On May 14th, John Allan and Philip Aiken paid 580p for shares, Allan buying 5000 and taking his holding to 7000 shares, and Aiken buying 1500 shares and now owning 3500 shares. The Questor article of May 14th is worth reading.

View on the above: all Positive (directors buying)

Strength of Signal:  all Strong (only non execs buying)

Genus plc (GNS, 680p) ‘creates advances to animal breeding through biotechnology and sells added value products for livestock farming and food producers. Its non-genetically modified organism technology is applicable across all livestock species but is only commercialised by Genus in the bovine and porcine farming sectors’.

Genus has been the subject of ‘bid talk’ with rumours of a bid as high as 1300p per share (Scotsman article).

So what do the directors of Genus think? The answer is that five out of the six directors have bought shares since February, at prices in a surprisingly narrow range of between 680p and 720p:

CEO Wood has bought 20,000 shares at 700p taking his holding to 20,200 shares (and 342,000 shares of conditional share awards as part of the Company Performance Share Plan).

Chairman Hawkins has bought 4100 shares at 716p initiating a position.

Non exec Worby bought 10,000 shares at 720p initiating a position.

Non exec Turner has bought 15,000 shares at 716p initiating a position, and lastly

Non exec Professor Furr bought 3000 shares yesterday at 680p initiating a position.

These transactions qualify for a STRONG signal:

  1. Five out of six directors buying shares
  2. Average investment above GBP 70k
  3. Significant increase in holding (four out of the five purchases are to initiate holdings)
  4. The words ‘bid rumour’ have arisen in the last six months.

The words smoke and fire come to mind.

View on Genus plc: Positive- directors buying

Signal Strength: STRONG

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