Wachovia Insider Stock Sale...
Does it pass the smell test?
(yahoo news) Two top Wachovia Corp. executives exercised stock options, reaping gains of as much as $1.7 million, about the same time the bank started discussions with Golden West Financial Corp.
The executives, Ben Jenkins III, Wachovia's vice chairman and head of consumer banking, and Alice Lehman, who heads investor relations, were not aware of any merger discussions when they exercised the options, according to Wachovia spokeswoman Christy Phillips.
On April 27, Jenkins exercised 25,200 stock options, for a gain of as much as $409,336, on shares sold at $56.37, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
On April 28, Lehman exercised options on 62,000 shares at $59.50 each for a gain of as much as $1.3 million, the filing shows.
Separately, on April 28 Jenkins sold 11,767 shares at prices of $58.39 to $59.89. It's unclear what he paid for the shares.
Wachovia Chief Executive Ken Thompson told investors in a conference call Monday that Wachovia and Golden West had been "talking for several weeks."
But Wachovia officials say Thompson was talking in general terms. Phillips says the CEO first received a call from an "intermediary" representing Golden West on April 27, late in the day.
Jenkins still controls about 204,000 Wachovia shares, while Lehman owns nearly 36,000, according to SEC filings.
An SEC spokesman declines comment on the matter.