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Director Dealings: Oxford Nanopore, City Pub Group, Persimmon


James Norris reviews directors buying and selling shares in their own company in his weekly column.

  • Directors sell shares in Gemfields Group to Assore International
  • Director sells Oxford Nanopore Technologies shares
  • Chairman increases stake in The City Pub Group
  • Persimmon Chairman buys 20k shares
  • Directors buying shares in Caledonia Mining Corporation

Gemfields Group (LON: GEM) chief financial officer David Lovett, managing director Adrian Banks and company secretary Toby Hewitt have sold in aggregate 15 million ordinary shares at 18p per share for £2.7m to Assore International Holdings. Non-executive director Patrick Sacco is also managing director of AIH. Gemfields, which owns mines in Zambia and Mozambique, recently reported ‘sparkling results’ in its interim 1H report to end of June, with profits more than doubled thanks to record-breaking auction results. The board also announced a non-routine interim dividend of $15m payable next month. At close of trading yesterday, the stock was priced at 17p, a return of 28.3% YTD and 15.4% over 12 months.

Oxford Nanopore Technologies (LON: ONT) chief strategy officer James Willcocks over two days last week on the US OTC market sold 200,000 shares at $291.4 and $297.2 per share, for a combined value of $588,165. Nanopore has reported another period of strong growth in core revenue in its 1H interims, with good progress made in the development of its new generation of nanopore-based molecular sensing technology, and continued growth in the user base and utilisation of nanopore sequencing in life science research. At close of trading yesterday, the stock was priced at 251.5p, a return of -64.3% YTD and -56.6% over 12 months.

The City Pub Group (LON: CPC) executive chairman Clive Watson has bought 125,000 shares at 63p, for a total of £78,750, which leaves him with a 3.5% stake in the company. In the 1H interims last month, he reported that trading volumes had returned to pre-Covid levels despite rising costs, with revenue up 193% on 1H 2021 to £26.1m. The London-based group, which runs an estate of 40 pubs, has one of the lowest levels of gearing in the sector. Last week, the company launched a share buyback programme of up to £3m over the next 12 months. At close of trading yesterday, the stock was priced at 66p, a return of -36.3% YTD and -44% over 12 months.

Persimmon (LON: PSN) chairman Roger Devlin has bought 20,000 shares at 1,264p per share, worth £252,800, at a time when the shares have reached a low last seen in March 2020. The housebuilding sector has recently been downgraded by brokers but Persimmon is known as one of the highest dividend-yielding FTSE shares and, coupled with the government’s recently announced cut in stamp duty, its shares could be set for a recovery. At close of trading yesterday, the stock was priced at 1,215p, a return of -57.5% YTD and -52.2% over 12 months.

Caledonia Mining Corporation (LON: CMCL) chief executive and director Mark Learmouth bought 2,805 depositary interests in the company at a price of 891p, worth £24,993. Last week, chief financial officer Chester Goodburn bought 2,235 shares on NYSE at a price per share of $9.95. Caledonia, which has gold mining assets in Zimbabwe, has increased its dividend per share by 100% since May 2020, indicating the company’s ability to return funds to shareholders, all the while continuing to develop its Blanket project and announcing the acquisition of Bilboes Gold, another gold mine in the country. The shares have surged 14% in value over the past two weeks, and at close of trading yesterday, the stock was priced at 920p, a return of 4.8% YTD and 0.1% over 12 months.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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