Saturday, June 08, 2013

Doing Well

... In this best of all possible times.

Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger and Chief Financial Officer James Rasulo sold large quantities of company stock in mid-May, when shares of the Burbank entertainment giant were near an all-time high.

Iger sold 1 million shares of stock on May 14, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The sale netted Iger $37.7 million before taxes. ...

Long ago, a News Corp. exec explained to me how paydays for the Chosen Few in Hollywood work:

"When you're the CEO or CFO or some other top executive, you have some leeway with the company stock price. You know when the company is going to release a bad movie, or has some other problem. So you've got a pretty good idea that the quarterly profits report is going to stink, and you take advantage of that. The price of the stock goes down, you get the board to grant you a lot of stock options. Or you buy company stock.

"And then you wait. You wait for the next quarter or the one after that, when the Cameron film is going to come out, when profits will probably be way up. And you wait for the stock price to rise. When it does, you cash in by exercising those lower-priced options or the lower-prices stock shares.

"Top executives have lots of ways of playing with the company's share prices." ...

And that, boys and girls, is how the game is played at the higher elevations. Don't you wish you had crampons and ice-picks so that you could play too?


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