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I want to wish you ‘good investing’ in a period of huge uncertainty. I suppose (is ‘hope’ a more appropriate word) the brave will be there to buy when everybody is panicking, which is why I’ve allowed myself to have a list of buys.

When I look at directors dealings I’m looking for a change of pattern or direction, an intensity of director interest indicated by volume and speed, and a sentiment change within a sector.

Stocks that satisfy one or more of these criteria are

  • Wolfson (WLF)
  • Aegis (AGS)
  • Findel (FDL)
  • Enodis (ENO)
  • Segro (SGRO)
  • Hammerson (HMSO)
  • Great Portland (GPOR)
  • Yell (YELL)
  • Michael Page (MPI)

Look in the archives or via the tag list for my reasoning on these stocks.

Real estate stocks are overweighted here, which I suppose shows a tendency to ‘value’, by me and company directors. If I look at the real estate sector overall though, I find that over the last month director buys outnumber sells by about 4:1 (source www.digitallook.com). Interestingly the bank directors seem to have gone a little quiet recently, after a flurry in early November (see RBS) !!

You’ll also notice a preponderence to midcap or ftse250 stocks in this list. This is not intended, but a result of the criteria. I don’t look at stocks smaller than the ftse 250.

What credibility do you give to this share purchase:

1. 40+ years exerience in the sector

2. Non exec Chairman

3. Sold around £750k of stock in May this year (great timing)

4. First purchase in 5 years (I don’t have the data before then)

5. Increased position in company by 300%

6. Bought £1.6m of stock at prices between 496p and 515p, having sold £744k’s worth in May this year at 708p.

Richard Peskin, Non exec Chairman of Gt Portland Estates.

Take a look at Richard Peskin of Great Portland Estates. He looks like a happy guy doesn’t he?

Gt Portland Estates Development Director Noel also put money to work, but only a measly £50k. This is the second purchase in the sector since Hammerson last week (Non exec Clare, who also bought back stock he had sold earlier in the year at prices 50% higher than today).

When we see the third director purchase in this sector then it is time for me to buy too.

Addendum: see FT Alphaville article on sector: http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2007/11/19/8998/mid-season-stock-clearance-in-the-property-sector/

Addendum: 20 November- Peskin bought another 150,000 shares, taking his holding to 583,000, having spent £716,000.

With the real estate sector underperforming the banks by 10 points (-32% last six months, banks -23%) we might also want to look for some indicators that the underperformance is coming to an end. The only news I can find is a non exec at Hammerson (HMSO), Clare, who more than doubled is holding in the group by investing £102k at prices close to £10. Considering executive board members managed to get out at prices in the £15-£16 range, I think this purchase is significant.

But…. this is the only guy buying, and to make a confident call, I’d love to see some of those executive directors buying back stock, before I do. So Hammerson goes on the ‘watchlist’ pending further news.

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July 2020
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