just a reminder to those of you in the franklin lakes area that you should show your discontent with management and the board of directors by asking some hard questions at the stockholders meeting on feb.8th. Geography unfortunately prevents me from attending. One thing i noticed in the proxy statement,incidentally,that seems to be totally out of line was the granting of additional options in november to messrs castellini and ludwig.this was on top of substantial option grants in january , particularly to castellini.how can the board justify this after the dismal year bd had? To say in the proxy that the nov. Grant to castellini was made for his continuing to serve as chairman is insulting.as has been said previously,bd wold be better served by having ludwig as both ceo and chairman. Also, terms of the nov. Grant to castellini are confusing.do the prices of$44 and$50 mean not only that he cannot exercise the options until the stock gets to those prices,but also that they are the exercise prices? This would be a lot different and more stringent to castellini(and this should be the case)than simply requiring market prices of$44 and$50 sometime in the future and then permitting exercises at the much lower nov.1999 price.
The restricted options granted in November would no doubt have a strike price as of the date of the grant, not the hurdle excersize price. Don't worry, the probability of BDX stock reaching $44 and $50 in the foreseable future is not very high. Using a multiple of 25X earnings this would mean an EPS of $1.76 and $2.00 respectively. The budgeted EPS for year 2000 is $1.60. Assuming a 10% growth in EPS, $1.76 would not be reached until the end of fiscal year 2001. Remember that a 10% EPS growth for BDX is a strech at this point.