Okay — a day or so after the ENHANCE story broke, the CEO said he would buy another $2 million worth of Schering Plough common stock, with his personal funds — but only after more current Schering information was made public (per the company lawyers). He specifically mentioned the Year-End 2007 results, and the ACC Meeting on March 30, 2008 as the events the lawyers wanted him to “wait” for.
Now, I ask you — gentle reader — to consider this: Is it Fred’s money, at all?
Well, this is getting to be rather interesting. Does anyone here know what Fred Hassan’s taget non-equity (CASH) bonus is for the Year 2007 (payable in April 2008 — See page 39)?
Anyone — anyone. . . A N Y O N E? [Imagine Ben Stein, in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“. . .]
That’s RIGHT — if Schering is deemed, by the Board, to have met its targets for 2007, Mr. Hassan’s non-equity (cash) incentive payment will be. . .
Wait for it. . .
Yep — there are Hassan’s “personal funds” — $2 Million, folks. Shareholders ought to ask about this incentive, on the 2007 Earnings call, and the “coincidence” that Mr. Hassan intends to buy almost-exactly that amount of stock. To be clear, the Compensation Committee of the Schering Board of Directors probably has not yet approved the award, so the time to write them is. . . now.
Now, consider this: We do know the ENHANCE study was completed in April 2006. Were the results made public promptly thereafter, then — as we are now learning — it would have been unlikely that Schering would have been able to make its targets for 2007. If Schering misses on profitability in 2007, then Hassan does not get the above $2 million cash incentive.
Similarly, it seems no stretch to presume that, for 2006, he would NOT have received a 200 percent pay-out, for “over-achievment” of his objectives, as he did, if the pill-taking world had known that generics do the same job, far more cheaply [the upshot of this study]. So, the money he now “bets” with is, in truth, “the house’s” money. Your money — as a shareholder, you are “the house“.
Point Two: All of you speculators/shareholders who are buying today, on Fred’s “show of confidence” are taking a pretty big risk. Fred has said he will buy $2 Million worth of stock, in the future AT WHATEVER PRICE THEN PREVAILS IN THE MARKET. [He did not say he would buy XXX,XXX number of actual shares — in that case, his “promise” would reflect a firm-belief that, TODAY, the shares are undervalued].
And so, he is playing a game of “Texas no-peeky” with you all, but all the while. . . he peeks at your bets, and his cards. He holds a bunch of cards as an insider, that you’ll only see months, or years, later. How so, you might say?
Well, when earnings for 2007 are announced, he shows some of his “peeky” cards, and then, when the ENHANCE study results have been fully-vetted at the ACC scientific conference at the end of March 2008, he shows more of his cards — and ONLY THEN, or at some point after that time, will he actually buy-in. All along, he’ll see the trades you all make, based on his “bet/bluff“. So, he’ll actually buy on complete information — while everyone buying today has nothing near the access to information he possesses even now, as he makes this “bet“.
Finally, his “bet” is no binding contract, for if it were, he’d have to register it with the SEC as a “put option” in favor of the SGP shareholders [or, the Board of Directors — in fact, why isn’t this a put? — but, I digress], as of this moment. So this is great PR sop for the unsophisticated, but for the rest of us. . . . it is slightly worse than yawn-inducing. He is gaming you. But so, so, many are drinking his Kool-Aid.
Ah, well — can’t say I didn’t try to help out.
Sunshine is, after-all, the best anti-septic.