- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold more than 500,000 shares on Thursday and Friday, raising $990 million.
- The shares were in addition to the $1.8 billion worth of stock he sold earlier in the week.
- It’s unclear why he’s selling.
- But the moves come amid growing scrutiny of Amazon and follow a disappointing earnings report.
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Jeff Bezos’ selling spree didn’t stop at $1.8 billion.
By the end of last week, he’d dumped nearly a $1 billion more of his Amazon stock.
On Thursday and Friday last week, Bezos, the CEO of the e-commerce giant, sold 531,852 shares, or about 1% of his total stake, for $990 million, according to documents he filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also donated another 268 shares – worth nearly $500,000 – to an unnamed nonprofit organization.
The end-of-the-week moves capped off a big week of sales for Amazon’s founder. Over the first three days of last week – the last three days of July – Bezos sold 965,612 shares, garnering more than $1.8 billion. In total, he sold about 2.5% of his shares.
The sales were part of a trading plan that Bezos put in place, according to the regulatory documents. It’s not clear when he put the plan in place. Before last week’s sales, he had sold any of his shares since last October, although he’d donated some to unnamed non-profit groups.
It was also unclear why Bezos is selling stock. The Amazon spokesman Dan Perlet declined to comment on the sales.
Investors often consider sales by a CEO or other top executives at company to be a bad sign, potentially an indication that the insiders are anticipating their company’s performance to deteriorate or not meet the market’s expectations. Amazon’s second-quarter profit came in below Wall Street forecasts, and company executives warned its third-quarter report could similarly disappoint, amid rising costs.
Amazon is also under scrutiny for its business practices amid a wide-ranging antitrust investigation by federal officials and a similar inquiry in Europe. And the US Defense Department last week announced an indefinite delay in awarding a $10 billion cloud-computing contract that Amazon was widely expected to win.
Even with the stock sales, Bezos remains Amazon’s biggest stakeholder. He now owns 57.6 million shares, or about 11% of the company.
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