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Four shares the pros are buying and selling

Our regular roundup of trades by professional investors, featuring AstraZeneca, McBride, StatPro and Indivior.

Click through the slides for our roundup. If you would like to receive news alerts on any of the stocks mentioned, click on the star icons below to add them to your portfolio.

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Click through the slides for our roundup. If you would like to receive news alerts on any of the stocks mentioned, click on the star icons below to add them to your portfolio.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Key stats
Market capitalisation£56,078m
No. of shares out1,266m
No. of shares floating1,261m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees59700
Trading volume (10 day avg.)2m
Turnover17,882m USD
Profit before tax2,720m USD
Earnings per share2.15 USD
Cashflow per share3.51 USD
Cash per share3.63 USD

AstraZeneca

Citywire A-rated dividend veteran Dina Perry has pared her exposure to UK pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (AZN) following a sharp fall in its shares on disappointing results of a lung cancer drug trial.

Perry cut her stake to just under 5% of the business worth £2.8 billion at a share price of £44.37, sharply lower than June’s record high of £55.08.

The stake is primarily held in the Income Fund of America run by American Funds. Perry is the lead manager on the $107 billion (£83 billion) fund.

Shares in the UK’s second largest pharmaceutical business slumped by 15% immediately after it reported a major setback in bringing its Mystic drug trial to market in late July.

Analysts have cooled sharply on the stock this year. The number recommending an outright ‘sell’ has risen from 11 out of 28, to 16, on a median price target of £48.50.

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£328m
No. of shares out182m
No. of shares floating180m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees4616
Trading volume (10 day avg.)m
Turnover£681m
Profit before tax£17m
Earnings per share9.31p
Cashflow per share19.77p
Cash per share13.61p

McBride

Citywire A-rated value opportunity manager Alex Savvides has pared his stake in own-brand household staples manufacturer McBride (MCB) as its shares continue to dip from May’s post-crash high.

Savvides trimmed his investment to just under 5% of the company worth £16.4 million at a share price of 181p, down from 203p earlier this this year.

The shares are held in his £596 million JOHCM UK Dynamic fund. The stock had climbed 170% between early 2015 and the peak in May, just below the all-time 2007 high of 204p.

McBride produces a range of cleaning and bathroom products, which are marketed under retailers’ own names.

Following a 30% increase in operating profit at the end of last year the business has reported a more ‘challenging’ environment this year, as inflation squeezed its margins between higher raw material costs and constrained household spending .

In July, Investec upped its recommendation on the stock to ‘buy’ on a price target of 230p, versus median analyst guidance of 221p.

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£92m
No. of shares out65m
No. of shares floating40m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees274
Trading volume (10 day avg.)m
Turnover£33m
Profit before tax£-10m
Earnings per share-15.54p
Cashflow per share-5.32p
Cash per share6.73p

StatPro

Citywire AAA-rated duo Julian Fosh and Anthony Cross have increased their holding in software company StatPro (SOG) after the business struck a deal with a ‘major’ asset manager in Singapore.

The deal is expected to net $1 million (£777,500). In response, the fund managers have upped their stake to just over 22% of the business, worth £20.4 million at a share price of 143p. Year-to-date, the stock is up 37%.

The shares are mainly held in the duo’s Liontrust UK Growth fund, with additional holdings in the UK Smaller Companies and Special Situations funds.

At the start of the month StatPro, which provides portfolio analytics software to asset managers, signed a contract extension and consulting agreement with a company in Singapore. In its results for the first half of the year, the business reported a 23% increase in revenue to £21.6 million.

However, profit was hit by acquisition and restructuring costs. This resulted in a loss of £2.3 million.

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£2,974m
No. of shares out721m
No. of shares floating718m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees934
Trading volume (10 day avg.)2m
Turnover821m USD
Profit before tax27m USD
Earnings per share0.04 USD
Cashflow per share0.05 USD
Cash per share0.75 USD

Indivior

Citywire AAA-rated mid-cap veteran Richard Watts has upped his stake in specialist anti-addiction pharma business Indivior (INDV), following a sharp upward rerating on a big increase in forecast profits.

Watts increased his investment to 7% of the business, worth £209 million at a share price of 413.6p. The stock is up 31% over the last month and 40% year-to-date.

The shares are primarily held in his £2.9 billion Old Mutual UK Mid Cap fund, with a smaller position in AAA-rated colleague Luke Kerr’s Old Mutual UK Dynamic Equity fund.

Indivior jumped more than 12% at the end of July after the business hiked its forecast for 2017 profits from a previous range of $200 million to $220 million (£169 million), to a maximum $285 million.

Revenue in the first half climbed 43% on lower research and development and legal costs, following partial resolution of a dispute over an alleged attempt to block generic copies of off-patent drugs.

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