Amid a backdrop of rising share prices as market optimism over the reopening generally continues its upward trajectory, a number of company directors having seemingly taken the opportunity over the past week to pocket a big chunk of cash.

One of the most interesting deals comes from FTSE 250 cruise company Carnival (CCL), which is also listed in New York.

Non-executive director Randall Weisenburger recently sold over $17.5 million worth of shares on the New York Stock Exchange, reducing his holding by 46%. He sold the shares in three separate deals at prices above $27 a share.

TIDY PROFIT

Weisenburger looks to have made a tidy profit on some of his shares, having snapped up around $10 million worth at $8 each in April 2020 after the big market crash.

The company’s shares, both in London and New York, have doubled in the past year – though are still significantly below pre-pandemic levels – as the market looks towards the sector’s likely recovery over the next two years.

However, Berenberg analyst Stuart Gordon has been one to voice concerns and said there is ‘still good reason to be cautious about the timing and the pace of the resumption of service’, and that the ‘current euphoria’ around recovery stocks is likely to be close to a ‘blue-sky scenario’.

XP POWER FOUNDER SELLS £12.5 MILLION STAKE

James Peters, the chairman and founder of electronics engineer XP Power (XPP), has sold 250,000 shares in the FTSE 250 company at a price of £50.14 each in a deal worth just over £12.5 million.

Following the sale, he retains just over one million shares in the business, representing a 5.11% stake.

XP Power’s shares are trading near their all-time highs after the company’s profit for 2020 came in ahead of expectations, with the firm seeing particularly strong growth in demand from its semiconductor clients. Market expectations are relatively high with the business trading on a 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio of 27 times.

In a first quarter trading update last week, the firm revealed revenue in the first quarter of 2021 was up 23% year-on-year on a constant currency basis, with orders up 7%.

JOULES FOUNDER OFFLOADS 4.7% STAKE

Tom Joule, the founder of clothing retailer Joules (JOUL:AIM), sold 5.2 million shares in the business at a price of 232p each in transactions totaling around £12.2 million and representing a 4.7% stake in the company.

Following the sale Joule, who is also the firm’s chief brand officer, holds a 21.8% stake in the company.

Broker Peel Hunt, who acted for selling shareholders in the placing, said the sale was being undertaken to achieve greater portfolio diversification on the part of Joule, who last sold shares in Joules in 2016.

For a full list of the week’s most significant trades, click here.

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Issue Date: 22 Apr 2021