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Director Dealings: DarkTrace, Marston’s, Artemis Resources

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In our weekly series, James Norris looks at directors buying and selling shares in their own companies over the last week.

  • Senior board members buy shares in DarkTrace
  • Chair man and non-exec building interest in Great Portland Estates
  • Director buys 2.75m Artemis Resources shares
  • Marston’s Chairman buys 200k shares
  • Board members buy Centamin shares

DarkTrace (LON: DARK) chairman Gordon Hurst on 20 May bought 55,000 shares at 369p, paying £202,785, after a bad week for the cybersecurity specialist, when shares slid on fears that the company would be dragged into civil proceedings over the controversial £9bn sale of Autonomy to Hewlett Packard in 2011. On 19 May, shares rebounded after the company clarified it is not involved and, to boost investor confidence, CEO Poppy Gustafsson bought £99,254 of shares at 336p each and chief technology officer Jack Stockdale bought 60,000 shares for £197,005. At the close of trading yesterday, the stock was worth 368.30p, a return of -12.35% YTD and 5.23% over 12 months.

Great Portland Estates (LON: GPE) chairman Richard Mully and non-executive director Mark Anderson have been building their interest in the company: Mully bought 5,000 shares at 641p for £32,064 and Anderson bought 2,451 shares at 645p, paying £15,805. Shares recovered on publication on 19 May of the 2021 annual results, which showed “a strong year, delivering record leasing volumes, with outstanding development returns, profitable disposals and accretive acquisitions”. Although macro-economic and geopolitical uncertainties are expected to persist in the near term, the UK economic recovery continues and inward investment into income yielding real estate is up. The stock yesterday closed at 655p, a return of -10.03% YTD and -6.76% over 12 months.

Artemis Resources (LON: ARV) executive director Alastair Clayton over a period of three weeks bought an aggregate 2.75m shares at an average price of 2.26p each, worth a total of almost £62,000. Artemis, a Perth-based miner with 100%-owned copper and cobalt projects in Western Australia, listed on AIM on 7 February this year to access funding from European investors. Earlier this month, its share price plunged 34% when it announced that its drilling programme at Paterson Central Gold & Copper Project had not yet yielded any significant gold and copper values. At close of trading, the stock was worth 2.03p, some 46% down from the admission price of 3.75p.

Marston’s (LON: MARS) chairman William Rucker bought 200,000 shares at 57p, for £114,000, on news of the company’s positive performance last year. Like-for-like sales had reached 97% of pre-pandemic levels in the first half to 2 April, despite Christmas trading being disrupted by the Omicron variant, while last year’s operating loss of £57m was converted to a first-half profit of almost £40m. The company has a ‘back to a billion’ strategy of reducing its net debt to less than £1bn and achieving sales of £1bn by 2025. Shares hit a 52-week low last week of 57.60p, recovering slightly to 59.90p at close of trading yesterday, a return of -22.2% YTD and -34.6% over 12 months.

Centamin (LON: CEY) chief executive Martin Horgan yesterday bought 65,788 ordinary shares in the Egypt-based gold miner at £0.835 per share, worth almost £55,000. The day before, non-executive director Mark Bankes bought 30,000 ordinary shares at £0.836 per share, at a cost of just over £25,000. And on 19 May 2022, chief financial officer Ross Jerrard bought 67,000 shares at £0.825 per share, for a total of £55,275. The directors’ confidence in the prospects of the company is also reflected in their decision to move to become owner-operator at the Sukari concession, which is ‘a major departure’, according to broker SP Angel. Centamin shares at close of trading yesterday were worth 85.88p, a return of -3.31% YTD and -29% over 12 months.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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