• More buys than sells as directors remain bullish on long-term outlook for their company’s performance
  • Eagers Automotive’s largest shareholder buys up more, sells ACT dealerships to the company
  • American Rare Earths director Denis Geldard sells off a parcel of stock during the fortnight

Director trades are often considered a good indicator of a company’s future prospects. Our fortnightly 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 on the basis of 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 fortnight.  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, 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 future 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.


Fortnight overview

The Go-Betweens sang it best in Streets of Your Town – markets have been “round and round, up and down: in the past fortnight as economic and geopolitical concerns continue the 2022 narrative keeping investors jittery.

But it’s not all bad news, there has been a bit of a July rally for many sectors on the ASX, including healthcare, and overall the S&P ASX 200 is up 3.43% in the past month.

And in a further sign of confidence for investors, there has been lots of on-market buys and few sales by directors of ASX-listed companies in their stock during the past fortnight. Indeed by Tuesday, July 19 we could find only two.


Recent Large Director Buys

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Code Company Director Direct or Indirect Date Volume $ Nature of change
NSX NSX Limited Kelly Anne Humphreys Indirect Jul-06 200,000 $753,369.82 On-market
APE Eagers Automotive Nicholas George Politis Direct & Indirect July 12,13,14,15&18 50,000 $562,393.00 On-market
LSF L1 Long Short Fund Limited Raphael Lamm and Mark Ladau Direct & Indirect June 28,29,30, July 1 & 4 184,889 $469,311.57 On-market
EVN Evolution Mining James Askew Indirect June-30 100,000 $244,303.21 On-market
HZR Hazer Group Tim Goldsmith Indirect Jul-15 250,000 $189,035.69 On-market
CBL Control Bionics Lindsay Phillips Indirect June-30 1,200,000 $179,703 On-market
APE Eagers Automotive Timothy Boyd Irving Crommelin Direct & Indirect Jul-12 10,000 $107,327.50 On-market
FEG Far East Gold Shane Menere Indirect July 4 & 5 318,000 $106,530 On-market
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Politis moves up a gear with Eagers buy up

Car dealer Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) has seen its largest shareholder, regular rich-lister and director Nicholas Politis drop the clutch and head into a higher gear buying an extra 50,000 shares in a series of 10,000 lot purchases since July 12.

Politis is bullish on the stock that on July 15 saw its shareholders give the green light to the acquisition of WFM’s Group ACT dealerships and associated properties, which he majority owns and controls.  According to an ASX announcement on the day of the vote, Politis has been the largest shareholder in Eagers since 2000.

Politis, who is chairman of the Sydney Roosters in the National Rugby League competition, now owns 70.27 million shares in Eagers Automotive.

In another sign of confidence for Eagers, chairman and member of remuneration and nomination committee Timothy Boyd Crommelin has also invested in the company in the past fortnight.

Other buys of interest include one from the non-executive director, chair of audit and risk committee for NSX (ASX:NSX) which owns and operates the National Stock Exchange of Australia.


Recent Large Director Sells

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Code Company Director Direct or Indirect Date Volume $ Nature of change
ARR American Rare Earths Denis Geldard Indirect July 8 1,000,000 $246,190 On-market
HRL HRL Holdings Greg Kilmister Not disclosed July 4 1,100,000 $176,000 On-market
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American Rare Earths (ASX:ARR) director Denis Geldard sold off a parcel of stock during the fortnight. The Australian explorer says it’s focused on cementing itself as a key player in the development of critical high value scandium and rare earths in mining-friendly Arizona in the US.

ARR last week announced drill assay results from the Overton Mountain area confirm Halleck Creek’s potential as one of the largest rare earths deposits in North America.

Geldard still owns 3,818,475 fully paid ordinary shares and 2,000,000 unlisted options exercisable at 20 cents/share with an expiry date of  November 30, 2024.

Analytical testing house HRL Holdings’ (ASX:HRL) non executive chairman Greg Kilmister sold off all his shares during the fortnight. HRL is currently fielding takeover offers from bigger ALS (ASX:ALS) and payroll services provider PayGroup (ASX:PYG).