Greencore share price returns to positive territory

CEO Patrick Coveney has upped his stake in the company by 50,000 shares

Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Shares in Greencore, the convenience food producer, were trading up by around 5.3 per cent by the close of business on Friday as key company executives upped their stakes.

The food group which operates primarily in the UK and the US did, however, see its share price drop early Friday morning by as much as 4.3 per cent before rebounding around lunchtime.

The London-listed stock fell by around 14 per cent between Wednesday and Friday after rumours began to emerge that the company had lost some business at a facility in Jacksonville, Florida.

On Thursday morning the company sought to allay investors fears by issuing a statement to the stock exchange. The Dublin-headquartered company said it wasn’t aware of any developments since its third-quarter trading update in July that would have caused the drop.

In the same statement Greencore said it had decided to refocus its Jacksonville, Florida, site on fresh product offerings, thereby withdrawing from frozen product production on that site.

The group, which employs 16,000 people across 31 manufacturing facilities in the UK and the US, said that the change in Jacksonville was “being managed seamlessly” and would have a minimal impact on profitability.

Meanwhile, two key board members at the company have upped their shareholding.

Greencore chief executive, Patrick Coveney, upped his stake in the company by buying 50,000 shares at a price of £94,200, or £1.884 per share. Company chairman Gary Kennedy also upped his stake having bought 10,000 shares at a price of £19,610, or £1.961 per share.

Prior to their recent purchases, Mr Coveney held 0.28 per cent of the company while Mr Kennedy held 0.01 per cent. The biggest single shareholder in the company is American investment management firm Capital Group Companies who hold around 8.25 per cent of Greencore.

Interim results released in July were received positively by analysts who reiterated their belief in the stock this week. Merrion Capital analyst Darren McKinley told The Irish Times that he was retaining his ‘Buy’ rating on the stock.