Friday, May 25, 2007

CLECO Execs Stock Dumping - no news

This story had us looking for answers Thursday and it is another good example of how we can be transparent, show the anatomy of a story and separate fact from fiction.

Thursday an email was sent to the kalb.com "contact us" box. It contained the following:
Anonymous said...
The Cleco VP dumps at least $430,000 worth of stock... which is immediately reported in the Houston Chronicle, Boston Globe, Forbes, and MSNBC.Not worthy of a mention in the Town Talk or KALB though.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007 6:35:00 PM

It turns out this was actually a post in the Cenla Antics blog. The item was of interest to us simply because of the lack of information surrounding the CLECO and City of Alexandria litigation.
The statement in the emailed comment above is not factual. Here are the facts and why this is not a news story.
CLECO Executives, like any other high level employee of a publicly traded company have a small window of opportunity to sell their earned options/shares. This is regulated by the SEC and there are public filings required. A quick visit to the CLECO website at this link, SEC filings shows all of the executives and what stock they have sold in May and for how much.

05/22/07 CRUMP KEITH D 15k
05/22/07 BUNTING ANTHONY L 8k
05/11/07 FONTENOT WILLIAM G 19k
05/10/07 FONTENOT WILLIAM G 19k
05/10/07 DAVIS R RUSSELL 17k
05/08/07 JAMES F BEN JR 8k
05/08/07 WESTBROOK W L 10k
05/08/07 GARRETT J PATRICK 19k
05/08/07 NOLEN KATHLEEN F 14k
05/08/07 MILLER JUDY P 19k
05/08/07 DAVIS R RUSSELL 17k

This is not a hidden transaction and stock holders are encouraged to check with the company they hold stock in.
Susan Broussard of the CLECO Public Relations Department responded to our calls for clarification and says "...as you know our stock has been very strong lately, CLECO has been a good investment."
Were we wrong? Did we miss an important story?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Date Insider Shares Type Transaction Value*
21-May-07 CRUMP KEITH D
Officer 12,400 Direct Option Exercise N/A
21-May-07 CRUMP KEITH D
Officer 12,400 Direct Sale at $28.41 per share. $352,284
21-May-07 BUNTING ANTHONY L
Officer 3,000 Direct Option Exercise at $16.13 per share. $48,390
21-May-07 BUNTING ANTHONY L
Officer 2,125 Direct Sale at $28.35 per share. $60,243
9-May-07 FONTENOT WILLIAM G
Officer 66,000 Direct Option Exercise N/A
9-May-07 FONTENOT WILLIAM G
Officer 66,000 Direct Sale at $28.25 per share. $1,864,500
8-May-07 JAMES F BEN JR
Director 3,000 Direct Option Exercise at $14.75 per share. $44,250
8-May-07 JAMES F BEN JR
Director 3,000 Direct Sale at $28.32 per share. $84,960
7-May-07 NOLEN KATHLEEN F
Officer 6,333 Direct Option Exercise N/A
7-May-07 NOLEN KATHLEEN F
Officer 4,705 Direct Sale at $28.48 per share. $133,998
7-May-07 MILLER JUDY P
Officer 14,000 Direct Option Exercise N/A
7-May-07 MILLER JUDY P
Officer 14,000 Direct Sale at $28.59 per share. $400,260
7-May-07 DAVIS R RUSSELL
Officer 18,000 Direct Option Exercise N/A
7-May-07 DAVIS R RUSSELL
Officer 15,075 Direct Sale at $28.53 per share. $430,089
7-May-07 GARRETT J PATRICK
Director 20,834 Direct Option Exercise N/A
7-May-07 GARRETT J PATRICK
Director 20,834 Direct Sale at $28.59 per share. $595,644
7-May-07 WESTBROOK W L
Director 6,750 Direct Option Exercise N/A
7-May-07 WESTBROOK W L
Director 6,750 Direct Sale at $28.49 per share. $192,307
4-May-07 NOLEN KATHLEEN F
Officer 1,904 Indirect Acquisition (Non Open Market) N/A

The number of shares sold isn't the entire story. It's HOW MUCH THE STOCKS WERE SOLD FOR and the time frame this all occurred within. When did the audit report come out? Do you think the Cleco directors know what the report says? What are the positions of the people who dumped all of this stock? I count one Chairman of the Board, two VPs, a CFO, two board members, the accountant, and the treasurer!!!

Blogger said...

The fact that we thought the audit report has something to do with it was the first reason we pursued the story, but then there is the recent closing of the Acadian Power Plant deal which caused the stock to climb. See this link http://www.shareholder.com/cnl/nr_releases.cfm
for more information. We are told these executives had a finite amount of time to cash in since otherwise there could be insider trading involved. That explanation effected our decision. Are you saying we still have a story here?

Anonymous said...

You have a huge story here. Here is a hint. The numbers you have listed as the amount of money sold by these execs are actually the sizes of the pdf files. Fontenot didn't make 18 kilobits. He made $1.8 million.

Anonymous said...

WOW MICHELLE YOU REALLY GOT THIS ONE WRONG!!!! IT LOOKS LIKE YOU DIDN'T SCRATCH TOO DEEP AT ALL, YET YOU'RE CONFIDENT TO SAY THIS IS NOT NEWS. GET READY BECAUSE IT IS NEWS! BIG NEWS!

THIS IS EMBARRASSING FOR YOU.

THANKS FOR NOT BEING ON OUR SIDE. SOMEONE HANDS YOU A HUGE LEAD AND YOU SCREW IT UP COMPLETELY.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Kalb will not investigate ANYTHING unless it is layed out for them. However, when one of their biggest sponsors come under scrutiny KALB mysteriously makes calls to Susan Broussard, does some research and pops out a story that is PRO CLECO. You guys are worse than bad.

Anonymous said...

Martha Stewart

Anonymous said...

Michele, do you understand what happened here? I have the distinct impression that you would love to have a juicy story but don't have a clue. Shouldn't you make a genuine effort to look into the facts and background and make some attempt at comprehension? Nobody wants you to hurt the innocent, or let the guilty skate, but how much spoon feeding to you need and doesn't that make you a news reader instead of a journalist? You don't deserve the crude insults that appear here but you have done virtually nothing to earn anyone's respect and/or confidence. You don't need to answer me but you do need to ask yourself these questions and try to answer them to and for yourself. "A work in progress" means some degree of "progress".

Anonymous said...

You finally had the scoop on a big story before the Town Talk did and you still managed to mess it up.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question. If as it appears CLECO owes Alexandria money and therefore has an unreported debt on its books. Would it not be illegal, immoral and actionalble for CLECO NOT to report it to its shareholders? Say my husband and I decide to buy $10,000 worth of stock tomorrow based upon the reporting that CLECO decided to reveal and subsequently its revealed that CLECO board and execs knew that the financials reported to the public were wrong. Wouldn't I and every other shareholder have a right to sue CLECO and the Board of directors individually?
How bout that Michele? IS THAT A STORY YOU CAN UNDERSTAND AND INVESTIGATE? Or do you need to get Susan Broussard to explain it "fairly " to you?

Blogger said...

Thank you for your comments. I still do not see a story and am sure you passionately disagree but are not ultimately the ones responsible are you? The insults are a bit over the top really don't you think? Sign your name or call me and we will debate the issue. Under anonymous you undermine your ability to be a stakeholder in the discussion.