Top-level corporate insiders such as CEOs and CFOs tend to have the most up-to-date information on their businesses. If they’re buying company stock, it’s generally a sign that the outlook for the stock is attractive.
In this report, we are going to highlight some interesting insider buying from top-level insiders at Greggs PLC (GRG:LN). Greggs is a UK-based food-on-the-go retailer that sells sandwiches, bakery goods, and drinks. Founded in 1939, it has over 2,000 shops across the UK today. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and currently has a market capitalization of £2.42 billion.
Greggs: Insider Buying
Our insider transaction data shows that on March 25, both CEO Roger Whiteside and CFO Richard Hutton bought GRG stock. The former picked up 7,823 shares at a price of £24.21 per share, while the latter purchased 4,134 shares at a price of £24.21 per share. Combined, the two insiders spent about £290,000 on Greggs shares.
Both of these insiders have substantial company and industry experience. Mr. Whiteside, who was appointed CEO in 2013, began his career at Marks and Spencer where he spent 20 years, ultimately becoming head of its food business. After Marks and Spencer, he worked at food delivery company Ocado, where he was MD from 2000 to 2004, Thresher Group, and Punch Taverns. Meanwhile, Mr. Hutton, who is a Chartered Accountant, joined Greggs in 1998, after working at Procter and Gamble. Given their backgrounds, they are likely to have a good understanding of Greggs’ prospects.
Greggs’ recent results, for the 52 weeks to 1 January 2022, showed that the group is making a good recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the period, sales amounted to £1,230 million, up 52% on the prior year, and up 5.3% on the year before that. Profit before tax came in at £145.6 million, compared to a loss of £13.7 million a year earlier and a profit of £108.3 million two years earlier. On the back of this solid performance, the group declared a special dividend of 40.0p per share, on top of its final dividend of 42.0p per share.
"Our results and achievements in 2021 show that we have emerged from the pandemic both stronger and better as a business,” commented Mr. Whiteside.
Looking ahead, the group expects to face near-term cost pressures. However, it is confident that the long-term outlook remains attractive.
“We continue to believe that the opportunities for Greggs have never been more exciting. Our investment over recent years has left the business well-placed to move quickly as the economy recovers and we drive our ambitious plans to become a larger, multi-channel business," said the CEO.
In light of this confidence from management, we see the insider buying as a bullish indicator.