You will see that Ivan both exercised his options (as you point out) and then immediately turned right around and SOLD them. He could have exercised the rights, obtained the shares and then kept them to show his faith in the future of the company.
AP Verizon CEO Exercises Stock Options Wednesday October 4, 12:53 pm ET By Bruce Meyerson, AP Business Writer Verizon CEO Seidenberg Exercises Soon-To-Expire Options for $1.8 Million Gain
NEW YORK (AP) -- Verizon Communications Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg exercised 285,000 soon-to-expire stock options this week at a profit of almost $1.8 million, the New York-based telephone company disclosed in a filing.
The options, granted nearly 10 years ago in January 1997, carried a strike or exercise price of $30.92 per share, according to Tuesday's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Seidenberg exercised the options at that price on Monday. He then sold an equivalent number of shares, nearly all at $37.22, to leave his holdings in Verizon stock constant at 285,464 shares.
Last year, Seidenberg was paid $2.1 million in salary, a $4.1 million bonus, $11.3 billion in restricted stock and $1.8 million in other compensation, for a total of $19.3 million, according to Verizon's most recent proxy statement. He held roughly 4.53 million exercisable options and 476,000 unexercisable options at the start of 2006.
Verizon's stock is up more than 20 percent this year after sliding in 2005 amid worries that Seidenberg's hefty investment in a project to rewire the company's copper phone network with fiber-optic cables might not pay off.
Last week, Verizon put a price tag on the "FiOS" initiative for the first time, estimating it will spend $22.9 billion to rewire more than half its network by 2010 so it can sell cable TV and superfast Internet connections. The company also estimated it will save $4.9 billion in operating expenses with the network upgrade, and issued more bullish subscriber forecasts, predicting the project will generate positive operating income beginning in 2009.
Verizon's stock was up 9 cents at $37.56 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, trading about half a dollar below a 52-week high set last week.