Adriatic Metals, Harbour Energy, Darktrace

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

  • Adriatic Metals non exec buys 310k shares
  • Director buys 10k shares in Harbour Energy
  • Chairman  increases stake in Arbuthnot Banking Group
  • New Chief Financial Officer buys 414k shares in Assetco
  • Darktrace Director buys 33k shares

Adriatic Metals (LON: ADT1) non-executive director Peter Bilbe has bought 310,000 shares of the miner at A$2.12 for a total of A$657,200. The shares have been transferred to the PR&JC Bilbe Super Fund. Adriatic Metals is a precious and base metals miner operating the world-class Vares silver project in Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Raska project in Serbia. Earlier this month, the miner announced that its Vares project is 45% complete, with 72% of construction capital committed. The miner also said it had experienced some cost inflation this year but is not expecting the total capex to increase materially. The Vares project is fully funded to production, which, after delays caused by supply chain issues, is now expected in Q2 2023. At close of trading yesterday, the stock was priced at 123.2p, a return of 6.4% YTD and -19.2% over 12 months.

Harbour Energy (LON: HBR) senior independent director Simon Henry has bought 10,000 shares at 415p, for £41,502, after their value had dropped 20% over four weeks. Harbour Energy, the largest UK Continental Shelf oil and gas producer by output, recently sold its stake in the Sea Lion oil field development project in the Falklands. In its half year results, Harbour reported a 40% increase in production with a 5% decline in unit operating costs; a boost to UK domestic natural gas supplies by more than 5% from its Tolmount project; and a material gas discovery at the Timpan prospect in the Andaman Sea (Indonesia). At close of trading yesterday, the stock was priced at 401.1p, a return of 13.3% YTD and 3.00% over 12 months.

Arbuthnot Banking Group (LON: ARBB) chairman and chief executive Sir Henry Angest has bought 25,000 shares at 820p, for £205,000, which gives him a 56.26% stake in the company. The previous week non-executive director Sir Nigel Boardman bought 9,749 ordinary shares. Arbuthnot Banking Group on 5 October said it expects its full year results to be “ahead of market expectations” thanks to higher base rates. The company also announced it has completed the sale of its long leasehold West End office property known as 20 King Street. At close of trading yesterday, the stock was priced at 830p, a return of -1.5% YTD and -10.1% over 12 months.

Assetco (LON: ASTO) chief financial and operating officer Gary Marshall has bought 414,592 shares at 60p, for £248,755. Marshall, who has held a number of senior management roles at Standard Life Aberdeen, was appointed last week. AssetCo, which buys, manages and operates assets in the wealth management sector, is aiming to reach an AUM of £75bn within two years, from its current total of £30bn. Last week, the consolidator announced a £7.5m share buyback programme, to be completed over the next three to six months. At close of trading yesterday, the stock was priced at 59p, a return of -62.3% YTD and -64.2% over 12 months.

Darktrace (LON: DARK) director Catherine Graham has bought 33,032 shares at 288p, for £95,132. Darktrace, a global leader in cyber security artificial intelligence, has delivered a robust performance but investors have shunned the stock, after analysts criticised its business model, a takeover bid from a US rival was pulled and for being linked – through co-founder Mike Lynch – to the fraud litigation at Autonomy. In its 1Q trading update published last week, the number of net new customers was up 29.1% year-on-year, booked revenue for the first quarter was up 37% and its 2023 outlook for growth was kept at 30-33%. At close of trading yesterday, the stock was priced at 343.4p, a return of -18.3% YTD and -60.9% over 12 months.


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