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Home  News  Agilent CEO nets 1 million USD gain
Agilent CEO nets 1 million USD gain


July 05, 2004
By Dan Lee, Mercury News

Agilent Technologies Chief Executive Ned Barnholt did something relatively rare for a top executive of the scientific-equipment maker: He sold company stock.

Barnholt exercised options to buy 86,755 company shares for $14.54 each June 14, according to Thomson Financial. The same day, he sold those shares for $26.07 each, for a $1 million gain.

It marked just the sixth open-market sale of company stock by an Agilent insider since the Hewlett-Packard spinoff became a public company in 1999, according to Thomson Financial.

The options exercised by Barnholt, also chairman and president, would have expired in November.

In May 2003, Barnholt exercised 86,755 options to buy Agilent stock and then sold those shares. Those options also were close to expiring.

Agilent leadership believes ``long-term stock ownership to be aligned with shareholder interest,'' a company spokeswoman said of the company's relatively few executive sales.

The stock rocketed from an initial offering price of $30 in November 1999 to a high of $159 in March 2000. It then plummeted to less than $11 by October 2002, providing little opportunity to profit by cashing in stock options.

Shares of Agilent, which is based in Palo Alto, closed at $28.27 Friday.

After the latest trades, Barnholt owned 55,997 Agilent shares. As of December, he also held 2.2 million exercisable options to buy company shares.

Plan in place: Hyperion Solutions Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Rodek made $1.6 million from exercising options and selling shares in the business-software maker's stock last month.

Rodek exercised options to buy 80,000 Hyperion shares for $19.06 each June 6 to 8, according to Thomson Financial. Over the same days, he sold those shares for $39 to $39.70 each.

The transactions were for diversification purposes and part of an automatic-sales plan, according to Linda Snyder, Hyperion's director of investor relations. Rodek and other top company executives established the plans last year.

Such programs, established under rule 10b5-1 of the Securities and Exchange Commission, allow executives to sell shares in predetermined amounts over a specified period of time. Many executives have started using the plans to avoid questions over the timing of their transactions.

Snyder said the company, which is moving its headquarters from Sunnyvale to Santa Clara, voluntarily disclosed the trading plans in an SEC filing and discussed the arrangements with large shareholders.

So far this year, Rodek has made almost $5.5 million from exercising options and selling shares, according to Thomson Financial.

After the latest sales, Rodek owned 183,779 shares. Including his exercisable options, he controls more than 2.5 percent of the company's shares.

Shares of Hyperion closed at $42.59 Friday.

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