U.S.A.:Bill Ford exercises options,He'll keep 1.41 million common shares
BY JAMIE BUTTERS
DETROIT FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
Ford Motor Co. Chairman and CEO Bill Ford invested $13.8 million to exercise stock options this week and buy 1.41 million shares of common stock, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
He also received 27,624 shares of restricted stock worth about $375,000 in lieu of a cash salary for the first three months of 2004.
The transactions raised his ownership of common stock 52 percent to 4.15 million shares.
Many investors who exercise options to buy stock immediately turn around and sell the shares. But Ford is keeping the shares, bought at $9.44 to $9.82, rather than cashing out for a quick profit of almost $5.5 million.
The shares are worth $19.3 million at Friday's price of $13.66 a share.
"This investment reflects my long-term belief in the future of Ford Motor Co.," he said in a statement.
He also owns 3.4 million shares of Class B stock that gives the Ford family extra voting rights.
As part of a five-year plan to fix the company, Bill Ford said in 2002 he would take his pay in options rather than cash.
Now he is taking his $1.5 million salary in restricted shares, which cannot be sold for one year.
The switch to restricted stock reflects the judgment of the board of directors' compensation committee, said spokeswoman Becky Bach.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....