Tak­ing prof­its in buoy­ant mar­ket

Re­unert CEO Pre­to­rius sells stock worth R20,5m

Finweek English Edition - - Companies & markets - LLEWELLYN JONES

THE STRONG TIDE of sell­ing by direc­tors con­tin­ues un­abated as the stri­dent per­for­mance of the JSE tempts them to lock in the prof­its on their share­hold­ings. Top of the list this week is Re­unert CEO Boel Pre­to­rius, who sold stock worth R20,5m in the elec­tron­ics and elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing group. Of that, R16,5m re­lated to un­wind­ing a zero cost col­lar hedge he took out in March last year over a por­tion of his share­hold­ing.

Per­haps more in­ter­est­ing is that Re­unert fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor Dave Rawl­in­son and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Pat Gal­lagher pre­ferred to ex­tend their own hedge po­si­tions for an­other six months rather than off­load the stock now.

At com­puter ser­vices and con­sult­ing group EOH Hold­ings, CE Asher Bob­hot sold a quar­ter of his stake in the group for R18,8m. The stock sold rep­re­sents 3,6% of the com­pany’s is­sued share cap­i­tal.

We’d have liked to get a com­ment from Bob­hot, but EOH’s man­age­ment team was ap­par­ently away at a “sales con­fer­ence” and we weren’t of­fered his cell­phone num­ber. EOH re­cently recorded a ster­ling 26% hike in at­trib­ut­able prof­its for the half-year to De­cem­ber.

An­other two direc­tors who seemed ter­ri­bly keen to lock in stock gains were Dis­tri­bu­tion & Ware­hous­ing Net­work (Dawn) chair­man Lou Alberts and CEO Derek Tod, who sold stock worth just un­der R25m be­tween them. Dawn is a man­u­fac­turer and dis­trib­u­tor of South African and in­ter­na­tional qual­ity branded hard­ware, san­i­tary­ware, plumb­ing, kitchen, en­gi­neer­ing and civil prod­ucts in SA and in se­lected African coun­tries.

The strong econ­omy, to­gether with record build­ing ac­tiv­ity, has en­sured that Dawn is do­ing a roar­ing trade. Turnover rock­eted up 70% to R1,4bn in the six months to De­cem­ber 2006, with prof­its ris­ing by a sim­i­lar per­cent­age to R105m. The mar­ket has re­sponded by push­ing Dawn’s share price to all-time highs.

One com­pany go­ing against the grain of the over­all mar­ket is private hospi­tal group Net­work Health­care (Net­care), which has seen its share price slip nearly 9% since end-Jan­uary. So far only In­grid Davis, who heads the phar­macy op­er­a­tions in the hospi­tal group, has shown any con­cern for the group’s prog­no­sis, sell­ing stock worth R14m over the past two weeks.


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