LONDON — The FTSE 100 index is up 12% since the start of the year and up 30% (over 1,250 points) on its 52-week low. Nevertheless, directors at National Grid plc (ADR) (NYSE:NGG), RSA Insurance Group plc (LON:RSA) and Petrofac Limited (LON:PFC) have been buying shares in their own companies in today’s high-flying market.
National Grid plc (ADR) (NYSE:NGG)
Utilities were out of favor with the market last week. Sir Peter Gershon, chairman of FTSE 100 heavyweight National Grid plc (ADR) (NYSE:NGG), took advantage to almost double his stake in the company.
Gershon splashed out just over £150,000 on 18,800 shares at 798 pence a share, taking his total interest to 60,286 shares. The company declared a 26.36 pence dividend when releasing its annual results two weeks ago, so Gershon is in line for a personal dividend payout of £15,891.
National Grid plc (ADR) (NYSE:NGG)’s shares are currently trading at 774 pence, and investors who buy before the market closes on Tuesday will still be entitled to the 26.36 pence a share dividend. Add 14.49 pence a share, which the company intends to pay for the next interim dividend, and you have a 5.3% income. The directors are aiming to increase the dividend “at least in line with the rate of RPI inflation each year for the foreseeable future”.
RSA Insurance Group plc (LON:RSA)
RSA Insurance Group plc (LON:RSA) reported an “encouraging“ start to 2013 last month, and two directors — or their spouses, to be totally accurate — purchased shares at a bit under 111 pence to the combined tune of £233,000.
The wife of chief executive Simon Lee bought 139,510 shares at a cost of £154,000; and the wife of finance director Richard Houghton bought 71,000 shares, leaving her purse £79,000 lighter.
RSA Insurance Group plc (LON:RSA)’s shares are trading a little higher today at 114 pence, but remain on a modest rating of less than 10 times current-year-forecasted earnings. Furthermore, despite upsetting the market back in February by cutting its final dividend by a third — and indicating that the next interim would be reduced by the same order — RSA Insurance Group plc (LON:RSA) continues to offer a high yield: 5.4%.
Petrofac Limited (LON:PFC)
The shares of oil and gas services company Petrofac Limited (LON:PFC) have gone off the boil lately, currently trading more than 20% below their highs of January. Analysts expect the company’s previous stellar earnings growth to be more moderate this year before picking up again in 2014.