Sticking to our knitting again…

January 22, 2008

images2thumbnail1.jpegLast February, when the markets were skittish (though not nearly as skittish as they are now) I wondered whether it made sense to stick to our footnoted knitting, or fret about the markets like every other commentator out there. I chose the knitting and I’m choosing it again today, especially after my early morning chat with Big Picture Barry.

So what was buried in the Friday night dump going into a long holiday weekend? A few odds and ends, including this seemingly odd announcement that Wal-Mart (WMT) Vice Chairman John Menzer was retiring at the ripe old age of 56. The timing alone — late on a Friday before the holiday weekend — should raise the radar, especially since as I’ve written before, being a vice chairman, is the greatest job in business. As the Bloomberg story points out Menzer was just named chief administrative officer just last year. Once he leaves, his job responsibilities will be split between two executives.

There was also this late Friday proxy filed by Cabot Microelectronics (CCMP), which reminded me that some companies, because of when their fiscal year ends, are reporting under the new SEC compensation rules for the first time. So we see for the first time that Cabot CEO William Noglows could end up with over $9 million, if Cabot is sold.

Finally, there was an interesting disclosure by Butler International (BUTL.PK). While we don’t normally pay much attention to pink sheet stocks, it was hard to ignore the fact that President and CEO Edward Kopko’s “all other compensation” was higher than his base salary last year, according to the 10-K filed on Friday. The largest bulk, according to the footnote, was the $281K in unused vacation time. Of course, given the stock’s performance (how’s that for a helpful graphic?), one could argue that Kopko should take some time off.

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