4/13/2011 - Chairman of BOD, Exec. Chair, 10% Owner Foster Paul L sold 127,500 shares at $17.46 for a total cost of $2,226,200 3/29/2011 - Sr. VP Legal Gen Counsel & Sec Barfield Lowry sold 45,534 shares at $16.77 for a total cost of $763,600 3/29/2011 - President-Refining & Marketing Smith Mark J sold 43,870 shares at $16.77 for a total cost of $735,700 3/29/2011 - Chief Accounting Officer Jewell William R sold 26,667 shares at $16.77 for a total cost of $447,200 3/29/2011 - Sr. VP - Treasurer Beyersdorfer Jeffrey S. sold 6,512 shares at $16.58 for a total cost of $108,000
if you notice, they were all automatic sales; that means that in advance the officers set sales prices for shares if the price is attained; it allows sales during quiet periods when sales would not normally be permitted.
Most on this board evidently, have never worked for a public company where you receive options as part of your compensation package.
It is apparant that many of these "sells" were options executions, where the options were deep in the money. Otions expire, so if you notice, these transactions happen around expiration week each month. All that is happening is the options are in the money and are executed for the spread in the current price vs. the options strike price. They bank the difference vs. paying the stike price and receiving the stock. Most of these comp packages also have stock awards, so it is not uncommon at all to cash out the options piece of the comp package.
You are correct...once a year I was automatically offered a stock option at a pre determined strike price.
The employer (mine) set aside a block of shares at said price and if at the settlement date I chose not to participate (pps below strike) the company would automatically shares at market value which is what happened here!!!!
If things were right I would go to my local "walk in broker", apply for a loan, take possession of shares, sell and repay loan.
Harris Corporation senior salaried employee compensation package. Life was good....matched IRA 100% to my 10%