over 4 years ago • 2 mins
Regulatory filings published on Monday showed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold almost $3 billion worth of stock in his company over the course of last week: his most valuable share sale to date.
Back in 1994, Bezos held 60 meetings with friends and family in a bid to secure initial investment, eventually raising $1 million from selling shares to 20 of them – including his parents, whose $250,000 investment in Amazon would be worth $30 billion today 🤯
In 1996, Bezos accepted an $8 million venture capital investment in return for an undisclosed stake. Then, in 1997, Amazon sold shares publicly for the first time. Apart from a further $100 million investment from AOL (🤣) in 2001, there have been no other Amazon share sales. Even after his recent divorce, Bezos' 12% stake is worth over $100 billion.
Back in 2017, Bezos announced that he planned to offload $1 billion of Amazon stock annually to fund Blue Origin – a space company planning its first manned shuttle flight later in 2019. Bezos also recently pledged to unlock a further $2 billion to fund a new homelessness and education charity.
This seems like the most probable explanation for last week’s share sale. Still, the timing is interesting. Amazon’s stock price is up 17% this year, but fell 10% over the past fortnight following quarterly results that showed costs rising 😬
The only time senior executives at listed US companies can buy or sell shares in their employer is between three and thirteen business days after its most recent earnings report. If Bezos hadn’t sold the shares now, he would have had to wait another three months.
Global economic growth is slowing – dragging company profits and share prices down with it. But if growth data suddenly declined more sharply, Amazon’s stock price could be well down in three months’ time… 🤔
So – does Jeff know something we don’t?
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