In a week that mark almost a year to the day equity markets began the climb back from the COVID-19 crash, 34 directors made trades above $100,000.

The buyers ranged from COVID beneficiaries eyeing growth to companies still lagging and eyeing off a recovery.

 

Buyers from companies seeking a recovery

One company in the latter category, at least from a share price perspective is AuMake (ASX:AUK), which has never recovered since our borders closed to China. This is because China is its core market – AuMake has run stores focused on the daigou trade.

With the borders closed it has sought to reach Chinese consumers through online platforms and claims to have been successful but shares have still lagged.

The company undertook a capital raising in which three directors made big buys. Keong Chan and Jacky Yang bought $100,000 each while Quentin Flannery bought $500,000.

Venue operator Ardent Leisure (ASX:ALG) suffered too, dropping from $1.63 to 18 cents between late January and late March 2020. It has recovered somewhat – reaching 87 cents on Friday. Brad Richmond bought $122,322 in shares on market.

One surprise laggard is funeral provider InvoCare (ASX:IVC) which has seen revenues fall through the double whammy of restrictions and deaths actually going down. InvoCare’s Richard Davis bought $335,000 on market.

Ecommerce play Zebit (ASX:ZBT) saw two big buys from Miriam Rivera – $596,617 on March 5 and $562,244 on March 11. The group has lagged since its ASX listing despite continuing to perform amidst COVID-19.

Service office provider Servcorp (ASX:SRV) saw a $170,500 buy from founder Alfred Moufarrige.

This industry has had a difficult 12 months with people working from home but the company told shareholders it remained optimistic thanks to its virtual office offerings.

 

Buyers from COVID beneficiaries

Other companies were able to thrive through COVID, with some examples being niche retailers.

One was plus-size fashion retailer City Chic Collective (ASX:CCX) whose director Michael Kay bought $151,138 on market.

City Chic was able to grow its sales and even its ecommerce assets thanks to lockdowns and a notable bankruptcy in the industry.

Another was Motorcycle Holdings (ASX:MTO) which owns several motorbike and motorbike accessory dealerships across Australia. It saw strong trading when stores re-opened.

Two of its directors chipped in big – David Ahmet, who bought $238,000, and Robert Cassen who bought $119,000.

Candy supplier Candy Club (ASX:CLB) lagged for many months after its ASX listing but has recovered since pivoting to the business to business space.

Chairman James Baillieu bought two $100k+ parcels of shares in the last two weeks – $188,918 and $100,856.

 

Sellers

While the majority of traders were buyers, the sellers made up a high volume of the trades.

Leading the pack was Andy Fung from communications tech stock MNF Group (ASX:MNF) who parted with over $10 million in shares.

The company said the trade was “to facilitate the purchase of property assets and to satisfy personal tax obligations”.

Vladimir Mitnovetski from data services stock Dicker Data (ASX:DDR) was next, selling $2.5 million to purchase a house.

Scott McMillan, from charter flight operator and aircraft lessor Alliance Aviation (ASX:AQZ) also parted with over $2 million of shares in an off-market trade.

Nicholas Chan and Simon Dulhunty of BetMakers (ASX:BET) sold $367,910 and $1,248,000 respectively.

While a reason for the trade was not given, the announcement was accompanied with a statement from CEO Todd Buckingham noting the pair hadn’t sold shares since joining six years ago and remained committed to the next phase of the company’s growth.