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Directors buy up as share prices go down

Last week’s earnings downgrade by implantable hearing device manufacturer Cochlear (ASX: COH) led to the share price falling 13% for the week.

While obviously some shareholders didn’t like what they read in the announcement and headed for the exit, it is pleasing and reassuring to see some Cochlear directors used the opportunity to purchase stock. Longtime CEO Chris Roberts topped up his already significant shareholding, outlaying around $220,000 to purchase 4,000 more shares. Fellow director Mr Rick Holliday-Smith also made use of the trading window and share price weakness to buy 2,000 shares to add to his 7,250 shareholding.

Meanwhile over at biotechnology company Starpharma Holdings (ASX: SPL), with a share price at levels not seen since December 2010, enticed CEO Dr Jacinth Fairley to snap up 25,000 shares at 83 cents per share. Trading at multi-year lows and with positive trial results recently announced, time will tell if Fairley picked the bottom here.

Also in the healthcare sector, Founder and Managing Director of Primary Health Care (ASX: PRY) Dr Ed Bateman, having just given away a large portion of his shares to family members as well as to charity, must have been feeling a little light on, leading him to top up his holding with a 7,000 share purchase at $4.87 per share.

Finally, proving that director buying hasn’t just been confined to the healthcare sector, Amcom Telecommunications’ (ASX: AMM) Chairman Antony Grist took advantage of the recent pull back in his company’s share price which has enjoyed a 55% surge in the past 12 months and purchased 75,000 shares in the company, taking his holding to 8.875 million shares.

Foolish takeaway

It’s always a good sign to see directors and management purchasing shares in their companies, not only does it align their interests with those of shareholders but it also sends a signal that they value at the price on offer and confidence in the future potential of the business.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns a share of Primary Health Care.

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