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Are Trimas execs spending too much time on the links?

Last May, Trimas (TRS) went public at $11 a share. By October, the stock was trading at $16, which clearly made it a successful IPO. But in November, things started going down hill and they’ve been going in that direction ever since: the stock has lost nearly 2/3 since then, even though there hasn’t been a significant amount of news.

But late Friday, Trimas filed its proxy statement and one thing popped out at me: the amount of money the company is spending on “club memberships” for its executives, including its top executive, president Grant Beard. Over the past two years, the company has spent just shy of $100K on the perk for Beard, which is definitely one of the more expensive memberships we’ve seen this proxy season. Even worse is that the CD&A provides no details on this perk — not even the boilerplate language found in lots of other proxies about the need for Beard and other executives to entertain clients.

A quick skim of the GHIN database doesn’t have any records for a Grant Beard golfing in Michigan where Trimas is based. But it does list someone with that name for the Bay Colony Club in Naples, Fla. Golf is clearly a passion of Beard’s judging by this profile done in 2006, before Trimas went public.

One final note about Trimas: its’ earnings releases routinely trot out the word record, as in “record sales and earnings” like it did in this third quarter earnings release on Nov. 6 or this one for the fourth quarter from last month. As footnoted regulars know, using the word record on a regular basis is one of the best indicators that companies are trying to play bait and switch.

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