Director Deeds: Energy, water, and matters of life and death

March saw companies put to the acid test, and some directors trying to put out fires with cash.

These stocks are a bundle of energy. But is it a good kind of energy? Australis Oil & Gas saw one of its directors, Jonathan Stewart, spend over $200,000 on March 13, and Ian Lusted and Stephen Scudamore respectively spend over $30,000 around the same time. Meanwhile, Gavin Ryan spent more than $70,000 over at Carnarvon Petroleum. APA Group’s James Fazzino was also imbued with energy, spending more than $300,000 in mid-March following appointment to the board as a non-independent director in February. However, some of this may be a ‘waste of energy’ for investors, so to speak. The catalyst may not be all too clear-cut. On the back of a very turbulent 2018, oil has been on a tear since the start of 2019 – at least until mid-March, when concerns around a global economic slowdown and specifically a US recession started weighing on ‘late cycle’ favourites once more, such as energy and financials. Plus, directors in this sector were also whacked with pressure from Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which sold out of all its oil and gas companies this month on environmental grounds.     

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