Four employes of Texas Instruments Inc. were accused yesterday by the Securities and Exchange Commission of using inside information about the company's troubled home computer business to make $750,000 in illegal profits on stock options.
According to the complaint, Joseph C. Fox, David L. Ball, Patricia J. Randall and Carl J. Fleece bought options to sell TI common stock on June 9 or 10, 1983, when they found out that TI home computer sales were lagging and the company planned to cut back production.
On June 10, TI announced a projected after-tax loss of as much as $100 million for the second quarter because of its home computer division.
The next day, trading in TI on the New York Stock Exchange was delayed by 2 1/2 hours because of the disproportionate volume of sell orders. The stock opened at $119, down $38.75 from the closing price before the announcement.
By June 14, it had sunk to $107.
Following the announcement, the quartet took their profits on the devalued stock by exercising their options to sell, according to the SEC. Together, they made profits of $750,000 or more, the SEC alleges.
A TI spokesman said, "This is not a thing in which Texas Instruments is involved, although we have cooperated with the SEC. These people were not officers or directors of TI."
The SEC said that none of the four has consented to the order, an indication that they may be planning to contest the charges. Ball and Randall are no longer employed by TI. Fox and Fleece could not be reached for comment.