Back in August 2018 Bill Beament was under fire for Northern Star’s big cash balance when it posted their full-year profit.
Instead of shareholders profiting further from such returns, Northern Star appeared to ‘hoard’ large amounts of cash – up 10 per cent, or $40 million for 2018.
NST Shares Down
Following on, in January 2019 shares in the Bill Beament-led mining company nose-dived by as much as 11 per cent to $8.19 after Northern Star’s revelation of lower than expected grades and high operating costs for the December quarter.
Speculation of Bill Beament’s strategy to prioritise output over efficiency certainly came to light when Northern Star’s full-year cost guidance (2018) increased by 6.8 per cent from $1,050-1,150/oz to $1,125-1,225/oz.
“We’ve just come out of a very, very capital intensive financial year, yet we’ve delivered a fantastic net profit (and) grown our production to a run rate of 600,000oz a year,” Beament says.
But is this just the run-around for poor budgeting?
Beament Offloading Shares
2018 also saw the Beament offload his 10.3 per cent stake amounting to $9.1 million at a price of $9.08, a figure lower than the current share price ($9.64 as of writing).
Even though it doesn’t sound the loudest of alarm bells, it also doesn’t boost anyone’s confidence when an insider decides to sell their shares at near market price.
2018 saw more shares sold than shares bought at Northern Star. Noticeable shareholders selling up includes BlackRock, Inc., Van Eck Associates Corporation and BlackRock, Inc.
With Northern Star’s purchase of Pogo (US) in August 2018 – the company’s first asset outside of Australia – the pressure is now on Bill Beament to have a more efficient 2019 as all eyes will be on Northern Star to see whether they can continue to ride the wave of success.
Closing with an editor’s note: Northern Star may be going from strength to strength, but it is the manner in which Beament and Northern Star are climbing to the top, showing little regard for those they brush shoulders with (Eg. At EKJV) and doing so by huffing and puffing their way to achieve their targets.
2019 will definitely be a year for scrutiny and those who are effected by ‘the bullies’ should stand up and make some noise against these companies.