The CEO has sold 4.5 million Sayona Mining shares in the past week. Is this a red flag?

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When a company’s senior management offloads a large chunk of shares, it almost always sparks some consternation amongst shareholders. And that’s exactly what has happened with ASX 200 lithium stock Sayona Mining Ltd (ASX: SYA) shares this week.

According to an ASX notice put out yesterday, Brett Lynch offloaded 4.578 million Sayona shares on 26 April in an on-market trade. This transaction was worth $892,509.

Not only is Lynch the managing director of Sayona Mining, but he is also the company’s CEO. So is this sale of shares by the CEO a red flag for Sayona investors today?

At first glance, it might appear that way. After all, the Sayona share price has had a rough few months. The company has fallen from the 30 cents per share levels that we saw back in January to the 20 cents a share the company is commanding today:

Many investors have the view that a CEO should be as closely aligned with the financial interest of shareholders as possible. So a CEO share sale is rarely greeted with enthusiasm by investors. Especially when the company’s valuation has been sliding recently.

Is the CEO’s sale a red flag for Sayona shares?

But remember, CEOs are bound by the same rules of prudent wealth management as the rest of us. Thus, it’s arguably difficult to fault a CEO for wanting to diversify their wealth and not hold all of their eggs in one basket.

A deeper look into the ASX notice gives us some valuable context as well.

Yes, it’s true that Lynch sold a large tranche of shares late last month. But the ASX notice also reveals that while Lynch offloaded more than 4.5 million shares on 26 April, he also acquired a far higher 30.62 million shares two days later on 28 April. Lynch didn’t purchase these shares. They were issued after he exercised 30.62 million listed options.

But the fact remains that Lynch sold 4.578 million Sayona shares, and then acquired 30.62 million. Hardly an absence of ‘skin in the game’.

After both of these transactions, Lynch still holds 164.28 million Sayona shares. Those would have a value of approximately $32.86 million, going off of today’s pricing.

So we can’t exactly fault Lynch for selling a small portion of his overall Sayona position. Maybe he had a tax bill to pay, maybe he wanted to buy a new house, or go on a holiday. All in all, this transaction doesn’t seem to indicate anything out of the ordinary – and certainly wouldn’t be construed as a red flag by too many investors.


The post The CEO has sold 4.5 million Sayona Mining shares in the past week. Is this a red flag? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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