Amazon Insider: Does Jeff Bezos know something?

Just as the markets are seeming to be on the way to new highs and (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

Total      $382,882,650

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.