Directors Have Been Splashing The Cash At Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Croda International Plc and Vedanta Resources plc


The FTSE 100 is riding high, but that hasn’t stopped directors at Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) (NYSE: RDS-B.US), Croda International (LSE: CRDA) and Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED) buying shares in their own companies.

At what price did these directors nail their colours to the company mast, and how much did they invest? Read on!

Vedanta Resources

Tom Albanese, one of the mining industry’s heavyweight executives, stepped down from Rio Tinto last January after the Anglo-Australian giant unveiled a big writedown of assets. In September, he was appointed chairman of a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources. He’s expected to join Vedanta’s main board soon, bringing a global mining face to a FTSE 100 company that’s still dominated by its Indian founders.

Vedanta announced half-year results last week, revealing heavy falls in revenue and profit (largely expected by the market). On Tuesday this week, Albanese decided to make his maiden purchase of Vedanta shares: he bought 30,500 at 978p a pop for a total outlay of getting on for £300,000. At the time of writing, you can get a better deal than Albanese: the shares are trading at 925p.

Croda International

Croda International isn’t one of the most widely known FTSE 100 companies, but we unwittingly use many of its products in our daily lives. The group’s natural-based speciality chemicals can be found in personal care, home care and health care goods. In fact, Croda says its chemicals are sold to virtually every type of industry.

Croda has delivered average annual earnings growth of 37% over the last five years, but conditions have been more challenging this year. The shares have been under pressure in recent months, and took a further 8% hit when the company announced its third-quarter results on 31 October.

Croda’s management remains confident of the company’s long-term prospects. Chief executive Stephen Foots put his money where his mouth is by splashing out £99,000 on 4,233 shares at 2,339p. At the time of writing, the shares are trading a tad lower at 2,324p.

Royal Dutch Shell

Shares of the FTSE 100’s biggest company, Royal Dutch Shell, have made no real headway over the last couple of years. Shell released its third-quarter update on the same day as Croda, and the Anglo-Dutch oil supermajor’s shares were hit almost as hard as the chemical group’s.

Former Netherlands Minister of Finance Gerrit Zalm, who became a non-executive director of Shell at the start of this year, decided the time was ripe to make his first purchase of shares. He bought 2,000 of Shell’s Amsterdam-listed RDSA shares at a price of €24.75 a share, making a total investment of €49,500.

The RDSA shares are currently trading at €25.31, while the London-listed RDSB shares that most UK investors will be interested in are trading at £22.06. Analyst forecasts put Shell on an attractively high dividend yield of 5.1%.

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> G A Chester does not own any shares mentioned in this article.