By Glenn Dyer

The rats are deserting the floundering
PMP ship: several major shareholders have sold down their substantial
holdings in the past week after the printer and magazine distributor
revealed a shock $15 million downgrade in forecast earnings for 2005.
PMP shares finished at just over $1.33 yesterday under the weight of
the selling.

Since the downgrade in the middle of last week,
major shareholders including Perpetual Trustees, Barclays Global
Investors and MMC have all sold down their holdings heavily. Perpetual
sold enough shares to reduce their stake below the 5% substantial
shareholding disclosure limit, Barclays has cut its stake from 8.31% to
6.56% and MMC has cut its stake from 9.09% to 8.04%. Overall, the sales
have seen more than 16 million shares sold off.

So who’s been buying? According the whimsical small-cap afficionado Christopher Webb in The Age,
the value and ethical investor Hunter Hall “waded in and bought more
than ten million shares at about $1.40 a piece” on the day that the PMP
downgrade was announced, taking its holdings from 5.77% to almost 10%,
and Lazard Asset Management picked up 4.3 million shares to increasing
its stake from about 8% to 10%.

Read his story here.