Who's Filing Now?

Once again, as Wall Street waited for happy hour, we Fools waded into 8-K filings that, if the timing is to be believed, executives would rather you not read.

Kicking off today's list is this filing from metal maker Allegheny Technologies (NYSE: ATI  ) , which reported that chairman, president, and CEO L. Patrick Hassey underwent successful cardiac artery bypass surgery.

That's excellent news. Here's to a speedy recovery, Mr. Hassey. If the press reports are to be believed, fund managers are depending on you to get back to the job of squeezing returns from Allegheny. Here's RS Value Fund (RSVAX) pro Andrew Pilara from a recent interview in Barron's:

About three years ago Pat Hassey came over [as CEO] and moved this company from a commodity stainless producer to a specialty-metals and titanium producer, and that created a material increase in his returns.

I'll take it in cash, please
Meanwhile, other executives are living the good life. Witness Middleby (Nasdaq: MIDD  ) CEO Selim Bassoul and Chief Financial Officer Tim FitzGerald. Each has filed a 10b5-1 trading plan, allowing them to sell as much as 584,000 shares of stock over the next two years on a predetermined schedule.

There may not be much to see here; 10b5-1 plans are pretty common, after all. What worries me is the last sentence of the filing. Quoting: "The potential number of shares that could be sold under the stock trading plans represents less than one-third of the total number of shares and options to purchase Company common stock held by both Mr. Bassoul and Mr. FitzGerald." [Emphasis.]

One-third is no small ratio. Pay attention to this Hidden Gems pick, Fool.

The deadliest catch for your wallet
And pay attention to your wallet. That's the advice of Automatic Data Processing (NYSE: ADP  ) , which on Friday reported that a partner's systems had been compromised.

ADP's partner was victim of a "phishing" attack. Though not the sort of debacle that threatened veterans last year, it's not a trivial event, either. Names, addresses, email addresses, and other general company information were stolen. (No bank accounts or Social Security numbers were, however.)

And that assault continues. According to ADP's 8-K and press release, the culprits are now sending new email to ADP clients, hoping to trick them into revealing confidential data. Don't be shy with the delete key, Fool.

What the press release won't tell you
Nor should you believe everything you read in press releases. This week's example comes courtesy of oil and gas explorer Meridian Resource (NYSE: TMR  ) , which announced on Friday that it was adding two new directors to its board: Byrd Larberg, who comes from ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP  ) unit Burlington Resources, and Paul Ching, a former Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A  ) executive.

Talk about a snoozer. But, again, that's only if you ignore the accompanying 8-K. Quoting:

In 2007 through the date of this report, the Company has paid Mr. Larberg approximately $140,000 for consulting services in connection with certain oil and gas operational matters, and the Company may pay Mr. Larberg additional fees for consulting services in the future. [Emphasis mine.]

Anyone else wondering if Meridian will have the audacity to call Larberg an independent director when he joins the company on Jan. 1, 2008? Stay tuned. This one could be very entertaining.

And, in the meantime, click here if you think you've found a late filing we Fools should see.


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