SELLING by managing directors helped swamp buyers, with the scorecard reading $70 million to $5 million at the close of proceedings.
Taking a big hand on the selling side was Anthony Podesta, the founder and now a non-executive director of salary packager McMillan Shakespeare.
Podesta cut his stake from 15 per cent to about 10 per cent, collected about $46 million and retains $88 million of stock.
McMillan, presided over by Michael Kay, has been a wonderful conveyance for the small army of small-cap fund managers on the register and is now a few per cent below its all-time $12.62 high.
Elsewhere, a collection of managing directors took money off the table.
Ken MacKenzie of Amcor, Louis Gries of James Hardie, Michael Fraser of AGL and Greg Ellis of REA were in that category and some sold following the exercise of options.
MacKenzie recently exercised options, got some free shares and very profitably sold scrip, with the result that he has about 1.4 million more shares than he owned a couple of weeks ago.
Elsewhere, Christopher Morris – the man behind Computershare – put some small change into some of his technology plays, including Webfirm.
He joined the board two years ago and shortly thereafter the shares excitedly ran from 17.5¢ to 26.5¢.
But Webfirm, which provides advertising sales automation services, had a tough time in the latest June year with an operating cash flow deficiency of $4.7 million – up from $4 million previously.
Morris in recent days bought shares at 4.3¢ apiece.
Directors of a clutch of companies associated with the battered mining services sector also surfaced as buyers.
Christopher Ellison, an executive director of Mineral Resources, bought less than $300,000 worth of stock, paying $7.29 a share.
He was last sighted in the market in March when he sold scrip at $12 and collected $41 million.
Wal King, the former Leighton chief executive, bought some Ausdrill shares after the scrip was hit for six following its record earnings report ,which foreshadowed lower growth in the current year.
Others in the mining services sector that were supported included Ausenco, Emeco, Boart Longyear and Brierty.
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