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Gerstner files to cash $20 million in IBM shares

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Lou Gerstner has filed to sell 142,000 of his IBM holdings, worth a cool $20 million at today's prices. The sale will make a fair old dent in his current portfolio -- around 500,000 shares worth $60 million -- but diversification is a challenge for unlucky Lou. The trouble is he can't sell shares fast enough. He has a further three million shares in stock options coming to him, and at current prices these would net him nearly $50 a share. But we're most unlikely to be talking about current prices, aren't we? IBM's stock price is currently nudging $150, and over the option period Lou can expect (matter of fact, we believe he has some influence here) the price to appreciate somewhere between five to ten per cent per annum. Having all this money riding on a PC manufacturer would be a problem, according to Forrester (see Forrester predicts terminal slump for PCs), but it was just last week that Lou was saying the PC era was coming to a close, so that's OK. ® Click for more stories Click for story index

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