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Watching the directors
At least three people are confident enough in the prospects of Washington H Soul Pattinson (SOL) – see above – to buy some more shares. Directors Robert, Michael and Thomas Millner, (Robert’s the chairman and Michael the deputy) splashed out a collective $2.8 million for 216,391 shares, or an average of $13.14 each. The purchases take the total SOL shares held in family-related interests to roughly 17.4 million, and the stock closed today at $13.16.
Also buying big was Richard Poole, a non-executive director at Australian Power and Gas (APK). Poole has been periodically buying parcels of shares this year (see Watching the Directors, June 25 ) and he picked up another 1.94 million shares last week in three tranches for a total of $1,025,583, or just under 53c a share averaged out. The company recently reported a 25% surge in customer numbers on the eastern seaboard and recorded a 63% earnings increase in its latest full-year results.
On the other side of the ledger was Data#3 (DTL) chief executive John Grant, who sold 2.5 million shares for a total of $2.75 million – or $1.10 apiece. The up-and-comer IT services company has a market cap of just $168 million, and the share price has held mostly flat through 2012, but is expected to benefit from the growth of cloud computing and the ongoing increasing demand for IT infrastructure and support.
There were director sales at another small cap favourite, Lycopodium (LYL), last week, with executive director Robert Osmetti divesting 125,633 shares in the mining services company for $818,474.68. The move looks good on paper, equating to roughly $6.51 a share while the company’s share price has dropped to close at $6.19 today. Osmetti retains more than 2 million shares. It’s been a busy month for directors selling Lycopdium, with fellow executive director Peter Leo shifting 55,709 shares in early September, then again a fortnight ago selling 22,409 shares over several days. Leo sold a total of $508,932 of stock in September.