Jeff Bezos sold nearly $5 billion in Amazon shares this week
By Mike Murphy and Jeremy C. Owens
Amazon co-founder’s post-earnings sales hit a new high, with largest concentrated disposal of shares since his divorce amid plans to step down as CEO.
Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bezos sold roughly $5 billion worth of shares in his company this week, his largest concentrated disposal of shares since his divorce.
According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bezos sold roughly 1.48 million shares in separate transactions Monday through Thursday, with proceeds of $4.91 billion, according to tabulations performed by Dow Jones Market Data group. The stock sales were prearranged through a 10b5-1 trading plan, according to the filings.
Bezos has made a habit recently of selling large tranches of shares not long after Amazon AMZN, -0.93% reports earnings. Last week, Amazon reported it tripled profit in its first quarter, compared with a year ago, and forecast sales above $110 billion in the second quarter. That is expected to be the last full quarter with Bezos as CEO; earlier this year Bezos said he would step down in the third quarter to become executive chairman of Amazon.
Last year, Bezos sold more than $9 billion in Amazon stock in total, and he has previously said about $1 billion of that goes every year to his rocket startup, Blue Origin. Bezos — the world’s wealthiest individual, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a net worth of about $191 billion — still holds about 51.7 million shares of Amazon, according to the final SEC filing of the week.
Amazon shares AMZN, -0.93% declined in four of the five trading sessions this week, for a weekly decline of 5.1%, the stock’s worst weekly performance since the week ending Nov. 13, which was also a week in which Bezos sold billions of dollars worth of stock and shares dipped more than 5%. Amazon stock is up 1.1% in 2021 and 39% in the past 12 months, compared to the S&P 500’s SPX, -0.13% 45.8% gain in the past year.