Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
It was very disappointing to read about Xcite Energy’s (XEL) options award this morning. In total the company has awarded 6.7million options, with an exercise price of £0.64 (yesterday’s close), to various members of staff and the board. The bulk of these options go to employees and there shouldn’t be many concerns about this. I appreciate the need to keep the troops happy and to retain key players. Giving employees a sense of ownership in the business has to be positive. However, the 2.65million options the directors have awarded themselves are in extremely poor taste. Broadly speaking, I’ve become a fan of Xcite’s over the last four or five months, but I’m under no illusions that recent performance can yet be judged a success. The new strategy is risky and so far, judging by the share price, the market is not convinced. Xcite’s board is in serious need of a credibility overhaul. Today, it has, rather unfortunately, thrown away an excellent opportunity to demonstrate its contrition for not securing a farm-out and genuine commitment to building future shareholder value.
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