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Great Southern issues bevy of stock options to execs, directors

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Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GSBC) this week issued stock options to all of its top executives and board members, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Great Southern spokeswoman Kelly Polonus confirmed the options would allow the businesspeople to buy shares later at a set price of $55 under SEC code M. Under that SEC rule, executives can sell the stock at current market prices when executed, netting a profit on the difference.

The Great Southern Bank operator issued 7,000 stock options apiece to CEO Joe Turner and his father, board Chairman William Turner. Rex Copeland, the company’s chief financial officer, was awarded 4,200 stock options, according to SEC filings.

Great Southern awarded 3,500 options apiece to executives:
    •    Kevin Baker, chief credit officer;
    •    John Bugh, chief lending officer;
    •    Douglas Marrs, vice president of operations; and
    •    Linton Thomason, vice president of information systems.

The company also issued 2,000 options apiece to board members Kevin Ausburn, William Barclay, Julie Brown, Tom Carlson, Larry Frazier, Debbie Shantz Hart, Doug Pitt and Earl Steinert Jr.. The awards were made on Nov. 28, according to SEC filings.

Great Southern recently reported third-quarter earnings of $22.5 million, a 93 percent increase from a year earlier.

GSBC shares were trading at $54.28 as of 10:13 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $48.10 to $61.65.

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