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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; joan.solsman@dowjones.com

Stock News for Alaska Air (ALK)
DateTimeHeadline
03/27/201503:10:15Airlines introduce two-person cockpit rule
03/21/201511:46:19Confidence in airline stocks picks up again
03/18/201519:27:06Global airline ETF expected this spring
03/18/201518:01:37Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
03/18/201518:01:10Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
03/18/201517:57:32Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
03/18/201515:00:00Alaska to fly from Boise to Spokane - its eighth nonstop city
03/18/201508:14:41The Airline Industry Ascended To New Records In 2014
03/13/201516:36:53Initial Statement of Beneficial Ownership (3)
03/13/201507:38:17Airlines And Aristocrats: Elasticity In The Friendly Skies
03/13/201506:01:40Current Report Filing (8-k)
03/11/201517:43:04Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
03/11/201509:30:00Alaska offers three-peat to D.C., with new nonstop flights between...
03/11/201507:41:09Spring preview on U.S. airlines
03/10/201508:30:00Alaska Airlines Seeks Government Approval to Begin Service from...
03/10/201508:00:00Start Spreadin' the News--Alaska to Fly from Seattle to JFK
03/05/201509:30:00Alaska Airlines grows Hawaii flights with new nonstop to Kona...
03/04/201508:00:00Alaska Air Group Reports February 2015 Operational Results
03/03/201517:15:53Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
03/03/201515:57:09Current Report Filing (8-k)

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