Slipped through the net…

net.jpegTwo regulars alerted me to several interesting filings last week that seem to have slipped through my normally efficient netting: The first was a series of filings made last Wednesday by communications equipment maker Comtech Telecommunications (CMTL).  After the markets closed on Wednesday, Comtech released fourth-quarter and year-end earnings, filed its 10-K, and slipped in this other 8-K.  As we’ve noted before, when a company dumps a batch of filings all at once, it’s usually trying to hide something.  Maybe Comtech didn’t want to broadcast the large annual bonuses it handed out to CEO Fred Kornberg and COO Robert Rouse.  Neither the earnings release nor the 10-K mentioned the bonuses, which were conveniently regulated to the separate 8-K.  In that filing, the Company disclosed it was paying Kornberg a $2.6 million cash bonus, a 35% increase over his 2005 bonus.  Likewise, Rouse got a cash bonus of $1.1 million, which represents a whopping 57% increase from last year.  What about the shareholders?  Well, they did get a 3% pop in the stock price after the news was announced, but it doesn’t come close to making up for the stock’s drop during the past year.  We’ll see how Comtech chooses to communicate that information when it files its proxy some two months from now.

Then there was this 8-K filed by Helix Energy (HLX) which outlined a pretty sweet consulting agreement for the company’s former general counsel, James Lewis Connor. Under the agreement, which was tacked on to a filing that announced Connor’s replacement, Connor will receive a "special payment" of $685K. In exchange, he’ll be required to "advise on transitional matters" — whatever that means — for the next six months. That’s a very special payment, considering that Connor only made $189K for all of last year when he was presumably working full-time. As a consultant, he’ll make $114K a month!