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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)
10/09/201509:00:00Alaska Airlines Starts Service from Orange County to Puerto Vallarta...
10/09/201506:01:49Current Report Filing (8-k)
10/08/201509:00:00Alaska Airlines Starts Service from Orange County to Los Cabos...
10/06/201512:35:00Alaska Air Group to Announce Financial Results
10/02/201512:00:00Alaska Air Group Reports September 2015 Operational Results
10/01/201513:49:00Alaska Airlines Continues to Grow Seattle Hub with New Raleigh/Durham...
09/30/201510:30:00Alaska Airlines Names New Managing Director of Loyalty
09/23/201508:15:00Alaska Airlines Begins Nonstop Service Between Nashville and...
09/23/201508:00:00Alaska Airlines and Icelandair Announce Codeshare and Frequent...
09/22/201509:00:00Alaska Airlines Announces its Annual PFD Sale for Alaska Residents
09/21/201517:29:33Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
09/18/201513:36:00Alaska Airlines Names New Managing Director of Seattle Airport...
09/17/201510:00:00Alaska Airlines Appoints New Managing Director of Fleet, Standards...
09/17/201509:20:00Stocks Coverage on the Services Sector -- Alaska Air Group, Gol...
09/16/201509:00:00Alaska Airlines Begins Nonstop Service from Seattle to New York...
09/15/201519:36:14Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
09/14/201506:04:04Current Report Filing (8-k)
09/09/201519:50:04Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
09/09/201509:30:00Alaska Airlines Inaugurates Service Between Los Angeles and Baltimore
09/08/201508:00:00Russell Wilson Extends Partnership with Alaska Airlines to Remain...

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