While you were skiing…

February 22, 2005

Without fail, there’s always some big company that decides that late Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend is the perfect time to disclose something they’d just as soon bury. Take Motorola (MOT) for example. On Friday afternoon around 4:30, the company disclosed former president and COO Mike Zafirovski’s severance package in an 8-K. While Dow Jones wrote a brief story late Friday on the $16.8 million “separation allowance” and other components of the package which include 300,000 shares of restricted stock and 3.85 million options, it didn’t get quite as much attention as it would have had the company disclosed it some other time. Indeed, neither Bloomberg nor Reuters seemed to have picked up on the filing. Other companies that also decided Friday was a great time to file their 10-Ks include Dow componenet Alcoa (AA), which decided Friday night was a good time to disclose an SEC investigation. Coffee giant Starbucks (SBUX) , and troubled Qwest Communications (Q) also filed late Friday. What’s in either of those filings? Who knows? But I’m betting there’s something interesting in them solely based on when they were filed. In fairness, this is filing season for companies on a calendar year. With that in mind, I’m sponsoring another contest: between now and March 1, which is the new deadline for calendar year companies to file their Ks, send me the most interesting thing you find in a K. The winner will receive a signed copy of my book, Financial Fine Print.

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