More than a rounding errror?

June 20, 2006

We know that everyone makes mistakes. We’ve certainly made some here at footnoted.org. over the past three years. But the mistake that Paterson UTI Energy (PTEN) disclosed in its recent proxy seems like a pretty big oopsie. As it turns out, the big fat zero that the company reported for CEO Cloyce Talbott’s personal use of the corporate jet in fiscal 2004 was really $53.8K. By 2005, that number nearly doubled to $102K.

Equally intriguing are the hefty bonuses doled out to top executives, including the one given to Chairman Mark Siegel which at $1.65 million was nearly five times his annual salary. Indeed, only one executive received less than a million dollar bonus, even though the top salary was $450K for CEO Talbott. What else? How about the fact that nearly 90% of all options granted last year were given to the top five executives at one of the low-points in the stock last year? Or that the top five executives exercised over $48 million in stock?

Starting to detect a pattern? Wait…there’s more. We haven’t even begun to delve into the related party transactions. Hmmm…now that we think about it, the airplane adding mistake isn’t looking all that bad.

P.S.: I’m heading to Hawaii today to give a presentation and plan to take the next week off from blogging. Filling in for me will be a footnoted.org regular who will be posting at night, since he has a day job that he’d like to keep.

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