Insiders buying up shares in their company always tends to be something that pleases investors, and WPP (WPP) shareholders may be interested to note two big purchases made by its bosses.

WPP BOSSES BUY THE DIP

Chief executive Mark Read and chief financial officer John Rogers recently bought a chunk of shares worth a combined £928,000, having taken advantage of a dip in the company’s share price last week.

Read bought 85,000 shares at 567p each on Thursday, while Rogers snapped up 75,838 shares for 588p each, markedly below WPP’s current share price of around 610p.

Shares in the advertising giant fell at the beginning of last week to 563p, from around 647p five days before, despite the lack of any news from the company, and seemingly Read and Rogers used the dip to buy more shares.

It comes after WPP revealed the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic when it published its interim results at the end of August.

Underlying revenues slumped 15.1% in the three months to 30 June as the pandemic resulted in cuts to advertising spend, though this fall in revenue wasn’t as bad as the declines experienced by some of its rivals.

While WPP insisted that despite the blow to revenues, its ongoing pivot towards digital transformation stood it in good stead to help clients ‘adapt their marketing strategies at speed and reshape their operations for a new world’.

LARGEST SCIENCE GROUP SHAREHOLDER LOWERS STAKE

The chairman of science consultancy Science Group (SAG:AIM), Martyn Ratcliffe, has sold 2 million shares in the business at 240p each, for a total of £4.8 million.

According to the company’s latest annual report, Ratcliffe is the biggest shareholder in the business and held 13.2 million shares – a 32.3% stake – before this week’s sale.

Science Group was involved in the Government’s drive to produce ventilators at the height of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, and reported a strong performance in the first half of 2020 with revenue growth of 56% to £36.9 million.

But the company is under fire after reinstating an interim dividend of 2p per share, despite having furloughed 5% of its staff under the Government’s job support scheme, and has declined to clarify if it has returned the furlough money to the Government.

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

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Issue Date: 01 Oct 2020