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Alaska Air Board Backs CEO, Who Says He Never Gave Out Insider Info

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Alaska Air Group Inc.'s (ALK) Chairman and Chief Executive William Ayer said he never gave insider information on Puget Energy Inc. to anyone, while the airline's board gave him its vote of confidence. Earlier Thursday, Bloomberg News reported the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating Ayer and New York hedge fund manager Donald Smith & Co. over some well-timed bets made on Puget shares. In a statement from Alaska Air, Ayer said he "never provided any material non-public information about Puget Energy to Donald Smith & Co., or anyone else." The company's lead independent director, Marc Langland, said the board has "full confidence" in Ayer and his "high ethical standards." Ayer, who is a director of Puget Energy, was on the company's board during a $3.89 billion buyout in 2008, a deal that caused the company's share value to jump. According to the report, which cited two people familiar with the matter, the SEC is investigating whether the Donald Smith & Co. acted on inside information when it doubled its stake in Puget just before the deal was approved by Washington state officials. Alaska Air shares were flat after hours, having closed Thursday down 4.6% at $46.50. The stock has risen 35% so far this year. -By Joan E. Solsman, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2291;

Stock News for Alaska Air (ALK)
12/01/201518:00:00Alaska Airlines Names New Vice President of Labor Relations
11/30/201517:07:00Alaska Air Group to hold Investor Day on December 3
11/27/201513:00:00Cyber Monday Arriving Early: Alaska Airlines' Biggest Sale of...
11/18/201518:36:24Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
11/18/201518:36:24Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
11/16/201509:00:00Alaska Airlines Continues to Grow Seattle Hub with New Charleston...
11/13/201506:02:14Current Report Filing (8-k)
11/11/201511:35:03Spirit Airlines Is Coming to Seattle: Watch Out Alaska Airlines!
11/09/201515:32:00Alaska Airlines Rated #1 Fuel Efficient U.S. Carrier for Fifth...
11/09/201514:46:00Alaska Airlines Completes International Safety Audit
11/09/201511:51:00Imaginatik Soars On Bright Outlook
11/05/201505:05:00Alaska Begins New Routes Today Connecting Key Cities in California...
11/04/201522:47:00Alaska Air Group Declares Quarterly Dividend
11/04/201508:00:00Alaska Air Group Announces New General Counsel
11/03/201519:30:00Small Airlines Push for More Access at New York Airports
11/03/201508:01:00Alaska Air Group Reports October 2015 Operational Results
11/03/201508:00:00Alaska Airlines Announces New Flights from Orange County to Santa...
11/02/201517:51:00Alaska Air Cargo ships ornaments from Alaska to District of Columbia...
11/02/201514:53:00Alaska Airlines Begins Flying to Costa Rica
10/27/201518:20:00Delta Air Lines to Leave Airline Trade Group

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