More sellers than buyers as resource executives cash in

SELLERS were well and truly to the fore this week, with directors collecting $8.5 million from disposals compared with $1.7 million for those doing some buying.

SELLERS were well and truly to the fore this week, with directors collecting $8.5 million from disposals compared with $1.7 million for those doing some buying.

Directors of resource stocks were responsible for the bulk of the selling, accompanied by some mighty profitable option-exercising.

Take the founders of goldminer Doray Minerals. Allan Kelly, the managing director, and Heath Hellewell, the technical director, exercised 3 million and 2 million options respectively at 20? apiece.

They sold 2 million and 1 million shares respectively on the market at around $1.30 a share, netting $2.9 million.

The two directors said that following the placement of shares to a small number of mostly new institutional and sophisticated investors and subsequent option exercises, their combined stake in the company had increased from 17.5 per cent to 18.6 per cent.

Over the past two years, scrip in the Perth-based yellow metal company has increased about sevenfold.

Pacific Niugini, a gold and copper explorer, has appreciated about threefold during the past two years, and just the other day executive director David Osikore, a geologist, spent $600,000 exercising options at 20? apiece. He sold the resulting 3 million shares at 40 cents each and retains 6 million shares and 1.5 million options.

Elsewhere on the options front, Mark Joiner, the NAB's numbers man, sold enough shares to cover the exercise price of 48,022 options and completed the exercise with 6405 more NAB shares than previously.

A clutch of directors dealt after the release of results.

On February 14, infrastructure services group, Cardno reported a 10 per cent gain in pre-tax earnings and the next day non-executive director John Marlay opened his shareholding account with the purchase of nearly $22,000 of stock.

Edmund Bateman, the managing director of Primary Health Care bought 60,000 shares after the group announced a 125 per cent increase in pre-tax earnings. He paid $2.82 and the shares closed yesterday at $2.95.

Bradken reported its interim result on February 7, the scrip firmed, and non-executive director Phillip Arnall sold 65,000 shares at $8.40 apiece a few days later.

Elsewhere, Webjet scrip was selling at $2.58 before its strong interim result. Richard Noon, an executive director, sold shares four days after the result at $2.94.

He left something on the table for the buyer as the shares closed yesterday at $3.09, an all-time high.

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