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A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX:A2M) CEO sells shares: Time to panic?

Personal finance warning

The A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) share price will be one to watch on Monday after the late release of a change of director’s interest notice.

That notice revealed that the dairy and infant formula company’s managing director and chief executive officer, Jayne Hrdlicka, has been offloading shares.

According to the notice, on both Tuesday and Thursday of this week Ms Hrdlicka disposed of 178,616 shares each day.

The first parcel of shares were sold on-market for a total of A$1,978,493.71 and the second parcel of shares fetched a total of A$2,016,646.09. Combined, the share sales pulled in a sizeable A$3,995,139.80, averaging out at $11.18 per share.

This sale means that Ms Hrdlicka is left with zero ordinary shares, but 245,787 performance rights and 242,022 time-based rights.

It is worth noting also that Ms Hrdlicka wasn’t the only seller of shares this month. The a2 Milk Company’s CFO also offloaded a sizeable parcel of (NZX) shares this month.

Why was the sale made?

The notice explains that: “The sale of the above-mentioned Ordinary Shares has been made by Ms Hrdlicka in order to: (i) fund the tax obligations relating to the recent automatic exercise of timebased rights; and (ii) fund commitments made by Ms Hrdlicka prior to her taking up employment with the Company.”

What now?

While Ms Hrdlicka clearly has valid reasons for the sale of these shares, it is still very disappointing to see her offload all her ordinary shares so soon after joining the company and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the a2 Milk Company’s share price sink lower on Monday.

Especially when there are concerns that its growth could be challenged this year due to a maturing Chinese infant formula market.

In addition to this, the share sales by Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL) executives before its fall from grace a couple of years ago is no doubt still fresh in the minds of many investors.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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