Editor's Note: This story has been corrected from the original version published on March 7, which incorrectly stated that Stewart had sold half her shares in the company.
Julia Stewart, the chairwoman and chief executive of DineEquity Inc., exercised stock options that netted her $5.7 million in two separate transactions this month, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Stewart exercised options pursuant to her executive stock trading plan at the Glendale restaurant company. On March 4, she exercised options on 48,525 shares with a strike price of $29.32 and immediately sold them for $85 a share, earning about $2.7 million from the transaction.
On March 5, Stewart exercised options on 53,794 shares, also with a strike price of $29.32, and immediately sold them at $85.11 a share, earning her just more than $3 million.
Her transactions did not change her direct and indirect holdings of 109,190 shares, valued at nearly $8.9 million and giving her a 0.57 percent stake in the company.
The sale follows a solid performance by the company last year, with fourth-quarter net income at $18.6 million (98 cents a share), up from $15.5 million (83 cents) in the same period a year earlier
In February, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, a Philadelphia investment bank, upgraded DineEquity from “neutral” to “buy” and raised its target stock price to $94.
Also last month, Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Fla. announced that it had boosted DineEquity from “outperform” to “strong buy” and KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. of Cleveland upgraded it to “buy.”