WSJ Stockpicker Has Vested Interest
NEW YORK (AP) _ The story in the Wall Street Journal identified the amateur investor as just another reader, one Ted Greene of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and noted his stock of choice: Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc.
But it turns out that Greene, chosen to compete in the newspaper’s closely watched stock-picking contest, has obvious reason to enthuse about San Diego-based Amylin. He’s the company co-founder, former CEO, a current board member and the owner of 2.2 million of its shares.
The Journal said Thursday it is re-examining the criteria and methods used to screen entrants in it’s contest as a result of the oversight. Greene was named in a Journal story published Monday as one of four readers chosen at random to compete against financial pros in the latest round of the contest, running through Nov. 30.
``We’re concerned that our procedures weren’t followed and we’re concerned that our procedures may not have been as refined as they should’ve been,″ said Byron Calame, a deputy managing editor at the paper. ``And I think it probably adds up to our being embarrassed, despite the fact that it’s not the sort of embarrassment one has when one has been grossly inaccurate or has caused people to lose a lot of money.″
Calame said his newspaper was unaware of Greene’s link to Amylin until receiving a call from a reporter at the San Diego Union-Tribune, which published a story on Greene’s contest entry Wednesday.
The Amylin co-founder, whose given name is Howard E. Greene, will remain entered in the contest for the time being, Calame said. He said the newspaper had not followed its existing policy of contacting reader contestants to make sure the entry is legitimate and that the person is not a professional stock broker or financial analyst.
Greene would have met those criteria even if the newspaper had contacted him, Calame said.
``Ted was acting as an individual not as a spokesperson for the company at the time, so the company doesn’t really have too much to say about what he does on his personal time,″ said Eric Shearin, Amylin’s manager of investor relations.
Greene could not be reached for comment.
Greene is listed as the owner of 2.17 million Amylin shares, or as much as 3.4 percent of the company, in the latest proxy statement filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. At Thursday’s closing stock price of $12.86 a share, his stake is worth about $27.9 million.