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Way back in December I pointed to ‘wise man’ Carey buying into Wolfson (WLF, 137p) shares (see note of December 21st ‘Wise of Wolfson buys back 58% cheaperhere).

But the shares continued to drift as Carey bought at lower and lower prices. Then the news that Wolfsons contract with Apple had not been renewed (see Times comment here) caused a 30% drop in the share price. Wolfson hit a low of 99p, and my jaw hit the floor too!.

But over the last two months Carey has been joined in his enthusiasm for Wolfson shares by three other non execs:

19th March Rob Eckelmann buys 7500 shares at 128p. He now owns 30,000 shares.

25th April Barry Rose buys 15,000 shares at 136p. He now owns 38,000 shares, and on

1st and 8th of May Michael Ruetggers, the non exec Chairman of Wolfson, buys 200,000 shares at 140p. He now owns 300,000 shares.

I am happier seeing four directors of Wolfson buying shares than one director. I take their mutual enthusiasm for Wolfson as a very positive (long term) sign.

OK, so Wolfson (WLF, 148p) has been a big underperformer since Carey invested about £800k (see comment of Dec 21st) back in November/December.

The shares have fallen by about a quarter since then.

But he’s at it again, buying 100,000 shares at 148p on February 12th.

Carey is somebody I’m prepared to stay with. And if you didn’t buy Wolfson in December, then today presents a better opportunity. Mind you, be prepared for the long haul on this one. I don’t think Carey is buying ahead of good news, but on long term valuation grounds.

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.

Take a look at this wise wise man. John Carey, Chairman of Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF 208.5p).

John Carey, Wolfson Chairman

In 1969 he founded Advanced Micro Devices.

In 2000 he became Chairman of Wolfson.

Last year, March to May 2006, he sold 400,000 shares in Wolfson at an average price of 488.25p. He even managed to sell half of these shares at a penny above the all time high close, at 557p!!

Between November 16th and December 18th 2007 he has bought them all back, at an average price of 205p. That is 58% below where he sold them.

Yes, he does own almost 4.4m shares. But this was such a good trade, and this guy is so knowledgable, I thought it worth mentioning.

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