ImClone: Stock buy timing a coincidence

Talk about great timing: new ImClone CEO John Johnson (formerly, yes, of Johnson & Johnson) did his executive duty Friday by buying a half-million shares of the company's stock at $36.74 each. Monday, the stock closed at $37.93. Yesterday, of course, the stock soared to almost $45, on news that ImClone's cancer drug Erbitux showed promise in treating lung cancer patients. Shares are currently trading at $44.62.

Johnson's contract with ImClone required him to buy the 500,000 shares within three months of his August 27 start date. And he has to hold the shares for as long as he's CEO. The company says the timing of his stock purchase was a coincidence; he'd come into some money from J&J and decided to go ahead. But with ImClone's history--former CEO Sam Waksal is in prison for insider tip-offs--it may be a coincidence that attracts SEC scrutiny.

- read the report from Mike Huckman's blog on

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