With the share price of Zoll Medical Corp. (NSDQ:ZOLL) on an extended run, there apparently is no time like the present for Ward Hamilton to cash in his company stock.
Hamilton, senior vice president for marketing at Zoll, likely is more than $550,000 richer after selling 22,500 shares of stock earned through employee incentive programs since he joined the company in 1992. The May 18 transaction went out at $30.92 a share, generating just under $700,000 in gross proceeds, while Hamilton probably spent an average about $6 a share &MDASH; or around $135,000 overall &MDASH; to exercise options used to acquire those shares.
Supported by strong sales of its LifeVest resuscitation vests, Zoll stock has more than doubled in value since bottoming out in February 2009 below $14 a share. It also hasn’t hurt that the company is making a habit of soundly beating analyst expectations, recently topping forecasts for its fiscal second quarter by 4 cents per share and obliterating predictions for an 8-cent profit in the September 2009 quarter by turning in a 16-cent gain.
Hamilton, meanwhile, has largely elected to accumulate options and has typically turned them into common stock only when expiration dates force his hand. He purchased a total of 15,000 shares at $3.44 each in November 2007, just days before the 10-year exercise period ran out. A 1,500-share purchase at $8.75 a share in September 2005 was similarly motivated, although Hamilton allowed himself a two-month cushion before pulling the trigger on that deal.
Despite the rapid ascent for Zoll stock over the past 15 months, Hamilton holds nearly 17,000 options priced between $31.58 and $40.45 that remain under water. He also holds another 31,000 in-the-money options that would produce about $200,000 in net proceeds if exercised at Zoll’s $28.42-a-share closing price June 1.
His transactions last month were detailed in documents filed June 1 with the Securities & Exchange Commission.