Director Trades: Who is bullish on their company as market turns bearish?
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Fears of a global economic slowdown have equity markets tumbling but in a sign of confidence for their companies and outlook, directors of ASX-listed companies have been investing heavily against the grain.
While there have certainly been some large sell-offs by directors there have also been bullish buys with directors taking advantage of a slump in markets to top up their holdings in the later part of April and into May.
Gold miner and lithium developer Firefinch non-executive director Brendan Borg disposed of 2,5788,448 shares indirectly through entities with which he is associated between April 29 and May 3.
The shares sold for a price of $1.117 amounting to ~$2.89 million. Borg still holds 12 million shares in Firefinch. Meanwhile, non-executive director Mark Hepburn indirectly sold down shares through entities with which he is associated.
Hepburn sold down 100,000 shares at $1.109 per share totalling ~$111k and a further 150,000 shares at $1.129 totalling ~$169k on May 3. He indirectly still holds ~2.089 million shares.
Firefinch is demerging its Goulamina lithium project in Mali into a separate ASX entity to be called Leo Lithium. In April FireFinch announced receipt of US$130m in cash from Ganfeng to formalise a joint venture to develop the project.
It is is expected to be one of the largest hard rock lithium projects in the world, with Stage 2 expansion expected to take its production profile up to an enormous 880,000tpa.
Firefinch recently found itself elevated to the S&P/ASX300. The company’s share price has risen ~138% in the past year and is currently ~86 cents.
Software solutions to the logistics industry WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) founder Robert White has sold more than $5 million worth of stock in the company.
According to an ASX announcement, White sold 116,073 shares for an average price of $44.67 between April 22 and 28, equating to ~$5.18 million. He still holds direct 3,332,287 and indirect 121,877,028 shares in the company.
White also made a series of large selldowns in April. The WiseTech share price has risen ~53% in the past year.
Cloud communications provider Comms Group (ASX:CCG) CEO and Managing director Peter McGrath purchased 4,431,254 shares for 8.9 cents equating to ~$3.94 million on May 9 indirectly via associated entities.
McGrath now holds ~18.45m fully paid ordinary shares indirectly and ~13 million performance rights directly.
Comms Group recently signed a significant global agreement to provide key unified communications and related telecommunications services to leading international telco provider Vodafone.
Last year it acquired SME-focused telco provider Switched On Australia for $4.3m in up-front and deferred cash payments.
Shares in Comms Group have risen 11.25% in the past year.
Short sellers may be betting against wound care company Polynovo (ASX:PNV) with a short position of ~10% but its directors certainly are not.
Chairman David Williams has indirectly through an entity with which he is associated ponied up for 1,000,565 shares for a cost of $899,931 on May 6.
Williams made a further purchase of 250,000 share for $227,500 on May 9 and 200,439 shares for $213,597.22 on May 10. Entities through which Williams is associated now hold 20,851,004 ordinary shares in Polynovo.
In a further sign of confidence, Polynovo non-executive director Christine Emmanuel indirectly purchased 115,000 ordinary shares for $98,373.50 in Polynovo on May 6. Emmanuel now holds 1,115,000 shares in the company.
Non-executive director Andrew Lumsden also bought into the company indirectly through an entity with which he is associated. On May 5 he ponied up for 100,000 shares for $87,314.88.
Polynovo recently reporting a record (unaudited) Q3 FY22 with revenue of $12.26m, up 59.3% on pcp. It is currently searching for a new CEO. Shares in Polynovo are up ~2.38% in the past month to ~$1.08.
Telco provider Aussie Broadband (ASX:ABB) has seen its directors buying into the stock in recent times. According to an ASX announcement, co-founder and managing director Phillip Britt ponied up for 122,250 shares at $4.093 equating to ~$500k on May 3.
The shares were purchased indirectly through Digital Interworks Pty Ltd, for which Britt holds more than 20% voting power. Digital Interworks now holds 16,069,059 ordinary shares and 1,169,926 options.
Director Patrick Green also snapped up 122,250 shares for $4.093 equating to ~$500k indirectly through entities with which he is associated on May 3.
Green now holds 10,361,992 ordinary shares in the telco. Executive Director Michael Omeros purchased 100,000 shares indirectly through entities with which he is associated for $3.95 equating to $395k on May 3. He now holds an interest of more than 4.75 million shares in Aussie Broadband.
Chairman Adrian Fitzpatrick snapped up 6000 shares at $4.14 equating to $24,480 through entities with which he is associated on May 3. Non-executive director Richard Dammery also purchased 6112 shares at $4.14 equating to $25,303.68 through entities on May 3.
Aussie Broadband listed on the ASX in October 2020 at $1 per share, and was founded in 2008 after the merger of two regional telcos. Shares in the company have risen 51% in the past year and are trading now at ~$4.15.
Founder and chairman of listed investment group Thorney Technologies (ASX:TEK). billionaire investor Alex Waislitz has been topping up his holdings during late April and May.
Waislitz made a series of a purchases totalling ~$275k between April 20 and May 9 indirectly through entities with which he is associated. Thorney Technologies invests in technology related companies with Waislitz switching from commodities to innovative tech.
But the company hasn’t been immune from the tech sell-off with its share price falling around 30% in the past year. However, on Wednesday its share price was rallying up ~8.46% to 28 cents.
Breville Group (ASX:BRG) deputy chairman and lead independent director Lawrence Myers purchased 33,000 shares for $774,461.02 on May 2 indirectly through entities with which he is associated. He now holds 133,000 shares in Breville.
iSelect (ASX:ISU) director Shaun Bonnett picked up 5 million shares at 15 cents each equating to $750,000 on April 28 indirectly through entities with which he is associated. He now holds 7.5 million shares.