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LSE executive sells out again

Information services head Waqas Samad has disposed of more holdings in the richly-valued exchange
LSE executive sells out again

Last time we checked in on insider share sale activity at the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the City darling was yet to receive clearance for its purchase of financial data group Refinitiv. With the stock also trading at £79 – then 36 times consensus earnings for 2020 – we suggested that the disposal made by director of information services Waqas Samad was at the very least understandable.

IC TIP: Hold at 8,914p

In the five months since, profits may have risen on spiking trading activity, but the Refinitiv deal has been snagged by European competition queries. The FTSE 100 firm also remains priced for perfection at £89.14 per share, which equates to 36 times consensus earnings for 2021, or a price-to-earnings growth ratio of 3.2.

Lucrative share award schemes have also made the intervening period a happy one for the LSE’s top brass. This is true for divisional lieutenants like Mr Samad, who also acts as FTSE Russell chief executive. Since his March sale, he has been granted 54,990 share options, despite only being made a director in January 2019. Even after adjusting for sales to cover taxes, that amounts to a £3.5m bonus at current prices.

As such, one can hardly blame him for top-slicing 8,000 shares at £88.33 each on 21 August, especially after group HR director Tim Jones sold 3,727 of his stock earlier in the month at £85.18.

Buys      
CompanyDirector/PDMRDateNo. of sharesPrice (p)Aggregate value (£)Comments
Ninety OneHendrik Du Toit/Kim McFarland18 Aug 20250,000209.24523,100

Purchased by PCA

Ninety OneHendrik Du Toit/Kim McFarland19 Aug 20175,000209.27366,224

Purchased by PCA

Ninety OneHendrik Du Toit/Kim McFarland19 Aug 201,276,0002092,666,840

Purchased by PCA

Diversified Gas & OilMelanie Little19 Aug 2020,000109.8521,970 
Ninety OneHendrik Du Toit/Kim McFarland20 Aug 20472,368208.61985,405

Purchased by PCA

Bank of GeorgiaGiorgi Pailodze20 Aug 204,15878932,813Average price
Fuller, Smith & TurnerJames Fuller20 Aug 2022,30655.1412,300 
Stobart GroupClive Condie21 Aug 20185,00028.552,725

Residual interest of 0.03%

John LaingBen Loomes (ceo)21 Aug 2026,36128374,602 
Begbies TraynorJohn May21 Aug 2034,94085.8429,992 
Ninety OneHendrik Du Toit/Kim McFarland21 Aug 20155,000217.16336,593

Purchased by PCA

Sells      
CompanyDirector/PDMRDateNo. of sharesPrice (p)Aggregate value (£)Comments
TBC BankNikoloz Kurdiani20 Aug 2010,00086486,400Average price
AO WorldChris Hopkinson20 Aug 2075,000200.9150,675Sold by PCA
London Stock ExchangeWaqas Samad21 Aug 208,0008,833706,658 
Smith & NephewMelissa Guerdan21 Aug 205,3901,50581,131 
BunzlAndrew Mooney24 Aug 201,0002,47924,790Sold by PCA
BerkeleyKarl Whiteman24 Aug 2012,0004,568548,202