While you were shopping…

December 1, 2004

Though I’m still trying to slog through all the filings that came in during the three days I took off, one thing is clear: several companies took good advantage of the fact that most of us were focused on other things over the Thanksgiving holiday. For example, on Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — the SEC was open for business and received 890 filings that day by my count. Among the pearls I found after a quick spot-check was a disclosure by WR Grace & Co. (GRA) that it was now the target of a federal grand jury investigation and the company and several current and former senior executives were likely to be indicted on criminal charges sometime in the first quarter of 2005. In the 8-K that the company filed on Nov. 26, it noted that it had received word of this from the US Attorney for the District of Montana nearly a month earlier — on Oct. 29. Presumably, Veterans Day wasn’t enough of a distraction.

Other goodies in Friday’s batch of filings include disclosure of a new compensation plan for Goldman Sach’s (GS) top executives to try to entice them to buy discounted Goldman Sachs stock with part of their hefty year-end bonuses and an ammended K that makes several corrections for pawn-shop/check-cashing firm EZ Corp. (EZPW) following an SEC inquiry into the company’s financials.

The moral here: just because you take a few days off, doesn’t mean the companies you invest in are too.

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