• Nickel Industries managing director Justin Werner buys up ~$1.9 million worth of stock in April
  • Wesfarmers managing director and CEO Robert Scott sells down $9 million worth of stock to pay tax
  • A Bellvue Gold non-executive director sells down stock as share price soars 77% in six months

Director trades are often considered a good indicator of a company’s future prospects. Our monthly ASX Director Trades column informs you who is buying in and who is selling down. Often referred to as insider buying or selling, directors are legally permitted to buy and sell shares of the company and any subsidiaries. However, these transactions must be properly registered and divulged.

Insider buying or selling is not to be confused with insider trading, which is buying shares based on non-public information, a big no-no and illegal.

We troll through the ASX company announcements looking at director trades of interest over the past month. It’s usually the big ones that stand out or those coinciding with company news.

Directors may get shares as part of employee incentive schemes, share purchase plans, rights issues, participate in dividend reinvestment plans or purchase on-market. It’s the on-market trades we think are worth noting, where directors directly or indirectly through entities they are associated either put up cash or cash in a stake.

When a director buys shares on-market or off-market, it can signify confidence the share price will rise in the future and if multiple directors are buying, especially at larger amounts, that is even more of an indication. Of course, it’s not a sure win that the share price will rise, so it’s always worth further research on a company.

Directors will often buy company shares after a sharp price decrease. Directors may think the stock has been oversold and represents good value, sometimes they want to show confidence in their company’s prospects, other times they’ve just got another good reason to buy or sell a stock which will be divulged, like paying the good ol’ taxman.


Market overview for April

The Australian share market rose overall in April with the S&P ASX 200 gaining 1.85% in April, extending its YTD gain to 5.38%. Mid and small caps shone, outperforming their blue-chip peers with the S&P ASX MidCap 50 and the S&P ASX Small Ordinaries gaining 3.5% and 2.8%, respectively.

READ ASX April Winners: Mid and small caps outperform blue-chip peers as gold stocks keep up rally

S&P ASX 200 Real Estate was the best performing sector in April, up 5.1%, while Aussie tech stocks also had a solid month, rising 4.82%, and outdoing the tech-heavy NASDAQ, which despite some solid rises from individual heavyweights could only put on 0.83% for the month.

ALSO WORTH READING: ASX Tech Stocks April: Sector outpaces ASX 200 by 3 to 1 in 2023 led by heavily shorted Megaport

While March seemed to have some larger director buys and sells on the ASX – Harvey Norman Holdings (ASX:HVN) chairman and executive director Gerry Harvey went on a big shopping spree – there was still also plenty of action in April.

Many directors ponied up for buys under $100k, while others also opened their wallets for even larger purchases.  There were also some large sells, whether to pay tax or perhaps just sell out and make a profit.


April director large buys

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Code Company Direct Director or Indirect Date Volume $ Nature of change
NIC Nickel Industries Justin Werner Indirect Apr-05 2,100,000 $1,887,839 On-market
NHC New Hope Corporation Thomas Charles Dobson Millner & Robert Dobson Millner Indirect April 6 & 28 200,000 $1,119,490 On-market
NC1 Nico Resources Peter Cook Indirect Apr-03 1,800,000 $901,980 On-market
SKY Sky Network Television Philip Bowman Direct Apr-04 100,000 NZ$255,120 On-market
PPK PPK Group Glenn Robert Molloy Indirect April 11 & 28 200,000 $225,000 On-market
QVE QV Equities Anton Tagliaferro Indirect Apr-17 122,714 $114,304 On-market
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Nickel Industries MD buys up in April

Nickel Industries (ASX:NIC) managing director Justin Werner added to his holdings with a buy up of ~$1.9 million worth of shares during April. Werner now holds 31,865,228 fully paid ordinary shares in the company.

NIC recently announced record RKEF production of 26,665t of nickel metal for the March period, including 22,338t of nickel in nickel pig iron and 4327t of nickel in high grade matte, representing a lift in production of 139% in just one year.

New Hope Corp (ASX:NHC) chairman and rich lister Robert Millner and his son non-executive director Thomas Millner continued to snap up more shares indirectly in the coal company during April.

As Stockhead’s Josh Chiat reported in March NHC has ambitious plans aiming to double production in three years through organic growth.

Robert Millner is also chairman of Australia’s second oldest publicly listed company Washington H Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL) and Brickworks (ASX:BKW). 


The NIC & NHC share price today:


April director large sells

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort.

Code Company Director Direct or Indirect Date Volume $ Nature of change
WES Wesfarmers Robert Geoffrey Scott Direct & Indirect Apr-11 174,383 $9,037,413 On-market
BGL Bellevue Gold Michael Naylor Indirect Apr-21 1,800,000 $2,448,997 On-market
OCL Objective Corporation Gary Fisher Indirect Apr-05 150,000 $1,830,000 On-market
LYL Lycopodium Rodney Lloyd Leonard Indirect Apr-20 100,000 $1,012,000 On-market
BEZ Besra Gold Jocelyn Bennett Indirect Apr-14 2,250,000 $504,998 On-market
ABB Aussie Broadband Phillip Britt Direct & Indirect Apr-11 98,132 312,462 On-market
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Wesfarmers CEO’s $9 million sale to pay tax

As Benjamin Franklin famously said “nothing is certain except death and taxes”.

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) managing director and CEO Robert Scott sold down more than $9 million worth of stock in the company during April to pay the good ol’ taxman.

According to an ASX announcement the on-market sale of shares was “to fund Mr Scott’s tax obligations” arising in relation to shares allocated to Mr Scott under the key executive performance plan (KEEPP).

WES is an owner of the Covalent Lithium joint venture with SQM, which is looking to already ramp up production at its yet-to-open Mt Holland mine and Kwinana refinery.

The company in April also launched a $169m buyout proposal for non-surgical aesthetics clinic operator SILK Laser Australia.

Bellevue Gold (ASX:BGL) non-executive director Michael Naylor sold down ~$2.5 million worth of stock in the company in April as gold stocks continued to have a solid run and price of the precious metal ended just shy of the psychologically important US$2000/oz mark.

BGL has seen its share price rise more than 9% in the past month and is up more than 77% in the past six months.

Naylor still holds a considerable amount of ordinary shares and performance rights in BGL.


The WES & BGL share price today: