Dec 4 The U.S. securities regulator is
investigating a $10 million stock sale in March by Steven
Fishman, chief executive of close-out retailer Big Lots Inc
, who announced his retirement on Tuesday, the Wall
Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the
The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allows
company executives to trade their own stock by using a preset
trading plan called "10b5-1" even when they have access to
Big Lots told the Journal that Fishman's departure is
unrelated to the probe and that the stock sale was made "at a
time when the company's trading window was open."
However, the company told the Journal that Fishman's March
trade -- the subject of the SEC probe -- was not made using the
Separately, the company said on Tuesday Fishman will retire
in 2013 for personal reasons, but will stay in the top role
until a replacement is found.
Big Lots stocks products that have been overproduced,
discontinued, or rejected by other retailers. It has been
expanding its consumables, home and furniture segments.
The trades were highlighted in a Journal article published
last week indicating that Fishman sold $10 million of his stock,
a month before Big Lots posted a surprise quarterly loss that
sent its stock down nearly 25 percent in a day. ()
Big Lots and the SEC could not be reached for comment by
Reuters outside of regular business hours.