BlackBerry executives sold newly vested stock on day of warning

Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:32pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Top BlackBerry executives sold small blocks of the company's stock on the day that the smartphone maker warned of a huge quarterly operating loss and massive job cuts, according to Canadian regulatory filings.

The filings showed that Chief Executive Thorsten Heins and Chief Financial Officer Brian Bidulka sold about 51.1 percent of their batches of newly vested shares on Sept. 20, netting C$121,107.68 ($117,600) and C$40,386.79 ($39,200), respectively.

There is no indication of any wrongdoing by the executives or the company.

The shares were sold automatically by the trustee of BlackBerry's restricted stock unit (RSU) plan to cover taxes owed by the two executives as a result of the vested RSUs, BlackBerry spokesman Adam Emery said by email.

RSUs are granted and then vest over three years on the anniversary date, said Emery, noting the details of the plan are disclosed in the management circular, available on BlackBerry's website.

In BlackBerry's fiscal 2013, that ended March 2, Heins received nearly $3 million in RSUs.

Filings on Canada's System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders show that Heins and Bidulka have sold a similar percentage of BlackBerry shares around the same time over the last several quarters.

The executives sold a similar amount of stock at C$6.8517 a share on Sept. 20 last year.   Continued...