By Boston Business Journal

The CEO of Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc. (Nasdaq: VSEA) collected $1.7 million in gross proceeds this week from a stock-option exercise on nearly 62,000 shares.

Varian CEO Gary Dickerson exercised his option to buy 61,953 shares, which he then sold for an average price of $42.66 apiece, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The strike price on the majority of those shares was $15.71.

Over the past six months, shares of the Gloucester, Mass.-based company have soared 50 percent, with the stock trading Wednesday afternoon at $42.73.

Dickersonâ¿¿s options on the shares he sold were granted in the fall of 2004 and were due to expire in October and November, according to the SEC filing.

After the transaction, Dickerson reported he directly owned 147,568 shares of Varian. Those shares are currently worth $6.3 million.

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