Free

Odds and ends…

I’m still slogging through Friday night’s filings and have come across a number of interesting things at various companies. Here’s a quick run-down:

At Extreme Networks (EXTR), the company noted in a proxy filed late Friday that its compensation committee had decided to accelerate the vesting of all options that cost $7 or more under the guise of the new options expensing rules because “they may not be offering sufficient incentive to our employees”. That’s because the stock is currently trading under $5 a share, so the options are underwater. The number of options being accelerated for top executives are pretty hefty in some cases. CFO William Slakey, for example, has more than 500,000 options that vest immediately under the new rules and COO Alexander Gray has nearly 400,000 options. In fairness, both men are relatively new to the company, having joined after the stock had already fallen substantially. But it’s still a curious way of using options expensing rules to accelerate underwater options.

At Avon Products (AVP), which filed its Q late Friday, there was an interesting disclosure about a $7.5 million payment that the former organizer of the Avon Three Day Breast Cancer Walk has received under an arbitration agreement. Though the foundation is separate from the company, the company notes in the Q that it has not decided whether it plans to help cover some of those costs. No doubt, they helped cover some of the legal expenses from the three year-old suit.

On another legal matter, Quest Diagnostics (DGX) provided a little more detail on a subpoena it received last month from the federal Department of Health and Human Services. In the Q, it noted that that the subpoena came from the Inspector General’s office, which sounds a bit more serious than the company’s previous disclosure on the subpoena.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Friday without a new disclosure about a spouse on the corporate payroll. This one comes from Valentis (VLTS), which disclosed for the first time that the wife of its VP for Finance, Joseph Markey, “provided services” to the company for which she was paid $118K. The company fails to note exactly what those services were.