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The Real Winner from the NutriSystem-Walmart Deal


Timing of a rewarding stock grant is suspicious.

Editor's note: This article was written by Michelle Leder, who combs through SEC filings for nuggets of interesting details for her blog,

Late yesterday, NutriSystem (NTRI) announced a deal with Wal-Mart (WMT) to provide a 14-day starter program that will be available in over 3,200 stores. Because this is the first time that NutriSystem products will be available in retail stores (as opposed to only on those incessant commercials) and because it's Wal-Mart, Nutrisystem stock is up over 20% today. The program will cost $149 and includes 14 days of meals, access to weight-loss counseling, and NutriSystem's online community.

But what's really interesting about the deal is this Form 4 filed a week ago that notes that Chief Marketing Officer Chris Terrill was granted a whopping 60,000 shares of restricted stock on Sept. 28 -- just a week before the big deal with Wal-Mart was announced. The grant priced the shares at $15.91, which makes for a very nice profit.

Granted, the shares vest over four years, so it's not as if Terrill can turn around and sell today. Still, the timing does seem curious given that Footnoted can't find any similar stock grants for the executive, who was named to the chief marketing job back in June. According to the filing, the 60,000 shares more than double his holdings in the company.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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