Just as the markets are seeming to be on the way to new highs and Amazon.com (AMZN) announces a new Kindle device, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is thinning out his holdings. Perhaps it is a planned sale or the desire to diversify (a common rebuttal when critics ask about large insider selling).
No matter, it is a big chunk that is being sold into what appears to be the launching pad for Amazon shares.
Ticker Owner Date Type Price #Shares Value ($) Shares Remaining
AMZN Jeffrey Bezos 1-May Sale 78.82 800,000 $63,055,865 96,366,856
AMZN Jeffrey Bezos 4-May Sale 80.01 200,000 $16,001,392 96,166,856
AMZN Jeffrey Bezos 1-May Sale 79.09 1,075,000 $85,021,428 98,250,639
AMZN Jeffrey Bezos 2-May Sale 77.55 1,075,000 $83,361,950 97,175,639
AMZN Jeffrey Bezos 15-Feb Sale 73.21 1,850,000 $135,442,015 99,325,891
Of course insider sales are often said to be less than accurate at predicting the direction of a stock, but selling is often a better indicator of future moves than buys. CEOs and management will usually have an uncommon optimism about their company’s prospects into the future as they are saturated with the company story, day in and day out. Yet sales of this magnitude need to be looked at carefully, especially given the current state of these fragile markets.
(Click chart for Amazon insider transactions)
Retail stocks have been on fire over the past few months as they have seemed to defy gravity in this uncommon recession. Amazon has emerged as the clear winner as they have executed flawlessly and provided a constant and reliable string of earnings year in and year out. Remember, it was only 10 years ago that most market experts has a forecast that this online-bookseller would be out of business by the end of 2002.
Perhaps now is a time to take some money off of the table, even if you have been a happy Amazon shareholder.