As stock markets continue their generally upward momentum since the March sell-off, the past week has seen a number of company directors taking advantage of rising share prices to sell some of their stakes.

UNILEVER FINANCE BOSS SELLS DOWN

The most eye-catching deal involves the chief financial officer of consumer goods giant Unilever (ULVR), Graeme Pitkethly, who earlier this week sold 46,000 shares at a price of £45.39 each for a  total of just under £2.1 million.

Unilever’s shares have risen steadily since hitting a low of £37.26 in March, and soared last month despite the company reporting no growth at all in the first half of the year.

Instead, the reason for its share price was the fact its rate of sales decline was much smaller than had been pencilled in by analysts – just 0.3% compared with the 7.4% fall expected by consensus.

XP POWER DUO CASH IN

Elsewhere, the spouses of both the chief executive and chairman of FTSE 250 power product supplier XP Power (XPP) offloaded a big number of shares in the company.

Penny Peters, wife of chairman James Peters, sold 100,000 shares at average of £42.71 per share and 50,000 shares at £43, while Christine Penny, wife of CEO Duncan Penny, sold 100,000 shares at average of £41.95. Together, the share sales were worth around £10.6 million.

The company’s shares have been on a roll so far this year, up around 28% year-to-date and more than doubling since the March sell-off.

Its half year results to 30 June showed the business had remained resilient despite the coronavirus pandemic, with the company saying it’s ‘excited’ about the future with the pandemic accelerating digitalisation in the global economy.

OTHER NOTABLE DEALS

Other notable deals include a sizeable sale by the chief executive of junior gold miner Greatland Gold (GGP:AIM).

Gervaise Heddle sold 1.25 million shares at 14p each for a total of £175,000. It comes as the company’s shares have rocketed around 750% so far in 2020 as the price of gold soars.

While Ceres Power (CWR:AIM) non-executive director Stephen Callaghan sold 200,000 shares at around 508p each for a total of just over £1 million. Hydrogen fuel company Ceres has seen a lot of investor demand this year, with its shares almost doubling year-to-date.

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

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Issue Date: 13 Aug 2020