Qwest loses in Bay Area real estate market…

April 4, 2008

Anyone who checks Zillow.com on a regular basis knows that real estate values are falling pretty quickly. But the proxy that footnoted frequent flyer Qwest (Q) filed earlier today almost defies logic. In 2007, footnoted readers voted on Qwest as the worst footnote in 2007.

In the proxy, which was filed shortly after the company announced that its CFO was stepping down, Qwest listed “other perquisites” for CEO Ed Mueller of $1.9 million and goes on to explain that the bulk of the amount as being related to the sale of Mueller’s house in the Bay Area

The amount also includes the incremental cost to us of our purchase of Mr. Mueller’s former house in California. We purchased the house in September 2007 for $8,900,000 (including closing costs), which was its then-prevailing value as determined by the average of two independent appraisals. We sold the house in December 2007 for proceeds of $7,112,606 (net of closing costs and commissions). We paid an additional $43,644 to maintain the house while we owned it, resulting in a total incremental cost to us of $1,831,038.

So in less than three months, Mueller’s house lost around 20% of its value and Qwest shareholders footnoted the bill? Looks like Qwest may in the running for the worst footnote of 2008, too!

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