Washington, May 1 (Bloomberg) -- ProxyMed Inc. Chairman Harold Blue reported that most of his company stake, pledged as loan collateral, was sold by his brokerage after the shares plummeted in value.
The executive filed a Form 4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying 618,582 of his shares were sold pursuant to margin calls. Blue held 644,132 shares as of May 17, 1999, according to a company proxy statement.
A brokerage that loans money to a client for share purchases requires the borrower to pledge stock as collateral. When the value of this collateral falls below a certain level, the brokerage issues a margin call, requiring the borrower to either pay down the loan immediately or have the collateral sold.
Blue, who founded ProxyMed, said in an interview he had borrowed money to purchase about $1 million worth of company stock at prices ranging from $9 to $14 a share. ProxyMed shares fell 3/8 today to 1 1/4.
``With the precipitous decline in our share price I had a margin call and my brokerage firm sold my shares,'' Blue said. According to the SEC filing, Blue's shares were sold between April 17 and April 27 at $1.61 to $3.50 each.
ProxyMed, a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, online health-care company, has seen its shares decline more than 87 percent so far this year. The stock traded as high as 16 13/16 about one year ago.
The company provides business-to-business health-care electronic commerce services to health-care information systems providers. In addition, ProxyMed lets physicians exchange clinical and financial messages with payers, labs, pharmacies, suppliers and their patients through desktop software.
Blue declined comment on the reason that ProxyMed shares have declined. At the same time, he said the company is doing very well.
``My situation is not indicative of the company's status right now,'' Blue said.