O’Leary lands €23m in one day

Without breaking sweat Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary yesterday made €23m as shares in the airline took off.

One of the largest shareholders in the company, he has a 3.5% stake in the airline, valued at €9.8bn at the close of the Iseq yesterday.

Mr O’Leary, who is thought to be worth about €450m, benefited from a 7% jump in the value of Ryanair shares in one day following the results. The company’s value rose €651m — up from €9.2bn to €9.8bn.

Goodbody analyst Donal O’Neill said Mr O’Leary had benefited from hedge funds betting, and losing, that Ryanair’s value would fall ahead of the publication of its annual results.

Mr O’Neill said Ryanair’s shares were benefiting from a ‘short squeeze,’ which drove the price up.

“The hedgefund community were shortly positioned on the way in to the results. They sold short on anticipation that they could buy [shares] back lower down but instead the stock has gone up,” he said.

Other big winners out of the surge in Ryanair’s value include Capital Research and Management, Manning and Napier, BlackRock Inc, Baille Gifford and Lloyds banking group.

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