ASX director buying activity heated up in the later part of February with many companies reporting quarterly and half yearly results along with continued market volatility.

Whether it was to show confidence in their stock or to join other investors looking for a bargain as the market slumped, there were some big director trades.

Engenco rallies after $1.14m buy up

Standing out was Tasmania business magnate Dale Elphinstone who purchased ~$1.14 worth of stock in Australian engineering services firm Engenco (ASX:EGN). The director and former chairman of Engenco purchased ~2.1 million shares over a period of three days from February 21-23.

The buy up helped prop up the company by more 30% in the past month with the share price at ~0.43 cents before Elphinstone’s purchase, sharply rising to 0.54 cents once his big buy was completed.

Engenco released its H1 FY21 results on February 18, with EBIT down to $3.2 million from $6.1 million and revenue falling to $85.5 million from pcp of H1 FY21 where it was $86.4 million.

The  company said profitability was influenced by skilled labour shortages impacting productivity labour costs, COVID restrictions and supply chain disruptions.

Despite the less than favourable half yearly report it would seem Elphinstone remains bullish on Engenco’s prospects for future outlook, owning in total a whopping 210,685,756 (~211 million) parcel.


Re-building his holding

The CEO and largest shareholder of insurance builder Johns Lyng Group (ASX:JLG) Scott Didier forked out more than $1 million to buy around 137k shares in the company on February 23 and 25.

Didier owned the company for 14 years, growing and turning it from a Victorian business into a national one before floating it on the ASX in 2017.

Didier now holds a parcel of 54,314,825 (~54million) ordinary shares and 140,000 performance rights shares.

News of Didier’s bullish stance in Johns Lyng saw the share price rally immediately upward ~10% in the past five days to ~$7.85.

With the economic costs of this week’s devastating New South Wales and Queensland floods estimated to be in the billions, Johns Lyng should have plenty of work on its books.

Buying spree on e-commerce stocks

Directors and leaders of e-commerce stocks went in to bolster their stocks on the back of reporting season.

The leadership of City Chic Collective (ASX:CCX) showed they are still bullish the day after its share price plummeted 30%  following its interim FY22 results on February 24 to $3.32.

Over the period, City Chic’s sales revenue rose 49% to $178.3 million but due to an inventory shake up, supply chain issues and other problems, the company decided against paying an interim dividend.

On February 25 the City Chic leadership went on a buying spree. Chairman and non-executive director Michael Kay forked out ~$192k to purchase 50k of shares, and CEO Phil Ryan dropped ~$50k to buy 13k worth.

Non-executive director Neil Thompson spent  two lots of~$38k buying in total ~20,000 shares, one on the same day as his colleague and another lot on February 28.

The bullish purchases by City Chic’s leadership team helped lift the stock out of the doldrums, rallying to ~$3.96 on February 25.

Independent chair and non-executive director of Adore Beauty Group (ASX:ABY) Marina Go ponied up for 20,000 ordinary fully paid shares for a total outlay of ~$48k.

Go now owns 27,407 shares in Adore, which  released promising H1 FY22 results in mid-February, which included revenue up 18% on pcp to $113.1 million. Active customers increased 13% on pcp to 876k.

Despite the results and Go’s bullish approach Adore’s share price continues to get hammered, down ~25% in the past month to $2.16.

Backing troubled gold miner

Whether it’s the rally in gold prices or he’s now wanting to show confidence to investors in troubled Regis Resources (ASX:RRL), chairman and non-executive director James Mactier forked out ~$48k for ~25.000 shares.

Mactier made the Regis share purchase on February 25, a few days after the company axed its dividend as its H1 FY22 profits nosedived ~69% to $26.5 million.

The gold miner’s share prices spent 2022 mostly in freefall from highs of around $2.92, plagued by less than flattering results. In January it announced a geotechnical incident at its Rosemont mine and other operational challenge had affected its FY22 guidance.

But there is hope for Regis with its Tropicana Gold mine joint venture mineral resource estimate updated to 6.95 million ounces with an ore reserve estimate of 2.38 million ounces.

Regis acquired a 30% stake in Tropicana in May 2021 from IGO (ASX:IGO). Announcing the update on February 23, managing director and CEO Jim Beyer described Tropicana as a “world class asset in a Tier 1 location that will continue to grow and be a long life, low cost producer and asset for the next 10+ years”.