Shares the pros are buying and selling
A round-up of trades by professional investors in Sigma Capital, T Clarke, iEnergizer, Big Yellow and Hummingbird Resources.
Small-cap veteran Gervais Williams has grabbed £500,000 worth of TClarke stock.
In buying the 800,000 shares Williams took his holding in the specialist construction contractor to 2.5 million shares, meaning he now owns 5.9% of the firm. Giant investment group Henderson sold that precise number of TClarke shares on the same day, but has retained a 9.7% stake in the business.
TClarke installs buildings’ internal wiring, focusing on huge projects such as Crossrail and London’s Walkie Talkie. It therefore profits later in the construction cycle than straightforward builders. It now boasts an order book worth £252 million, a 12% increase since August, and is profitable and debt free.
Williams holds the TClarke shares in both his Diverse Income Trust and his Miton UK Multicap Income fund, which between them contain half a billion pounds of assets. While the FTSE All Share index has returned 22% over the past year, Williams has generated 48% and 41% respectively through those two vehicles. His average peer has posted 28% during the same period.
Natural resource veteran Rick Rule has taken almost 5% in Liberian gold miner Hummingbird Resources via a private share placing.
Rule took 2.7 million new shares in the business or 4.6% of the enlarged market cap worth £1.1 million at an issue price of 41p, a 17.1% premium to the open market price of 32.7p.
The shares are held in his Exploration Capital Partners fund, a private portfolio managed by US investment group Sprott Asset Management.
Hummingbird had done a ‘superb job in West Africa in the last two years’ Rule told Citywire.
The purchase is a vote of confidence in a business which has seen its share price slide 80% over the last three years alongside a wider sell-off in the Junior Mining sector.
The company currently expects to bring its exploration sites into production by 2016 and raised $20 million over the 12 months to May 2013.
Billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter has halved his stake in property developer Sigma Capital Group.
Through his West Coast Capital investment firm, Hunter sold 3 million shares in Sigma, worth around £1 million. This has left him owning 6% of the business.
Hunter first bought into Sigma in 2007, when its share price was 50p. Its shares today change hands for 35p, although that is more than five times what they were worth at the start of the year.
Sigma works with local authorities in Liverpool, Salford and Solihull on regeneration projects, and recently revealed it had entered a joint venture worth £700 million to build up to 6,600 new residential homes for private rental.
Earlier this year Hunter won the Carnegie Medal for his philanthropy, with his Hunter Foundation having invested around £50 million in charitable causes since its launch in 1998. Through West Coast Capital, Hunter also has positions in House of Fraser and Cruise Fashion.
Veteran UK equity investor Tom Dobell has aggressively upped his stake in plunging outsourcing business iEnergizer as its share price slumps following the withdrawal of its dividend.
Dobell increased his holding in the company from 16.07 million shares to 19.79 million or almost 13% worth £43 million at a share price of 219p per share, down 41% since the end of July.
The shares are held in his £7.2 billion M&G Recovery fund. While Dobell has recently experienced a rocky patch he continues to command respect and has an exceptional long-term record.
Despite unveiling a blockbuster set of results at the end of July the India-based, AIM-listed iEnergizer shocked and disappointed many investors by withdrawing its dividend, previously 8p per share.
‘The company keeps its dividend policy under constant review,’ it said in a statement. Profit after tax for the year to March rose 51% from $18.8 million (£11.61 million) to $28.3 million.
Citywire AA-rated UK mid-cap star Richard Watts has upped his stake in self-storage business Big Yellow Group as the wheels of the British housing market begin to become unjammed.
Watts upped his holding in the company from 7.14 million shares to 8.78 million or 6.21% worth £40.85 million at a share price of 466p, up 40.5% over one year versus an All Share return of 18%.
The shares are primarily held in Watts’ £1.26 billion Old Mutual UK Mid Cap fund, alongside a smaller holding in colleague Dan Nickols' UK Smaller Companies fund.
Broker Jefferies last month upped its price target on the business from 498p to 500p, rated buy.
In first half results last week Big Yellow reported profit before tax up 2% to £14.2 million on a 2% increase in rent per square foot of storage space.
The company is heavily exposed to London’s run-away housing market and to the broader south east.