Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), has sold more than $2.4 billion in Amazon shares this week. According to the regulatory filings, he offered about 740,000 shares on Monday and Tuesday for approximately $2.48 billion at prices ranging from $3,274 to $3,485 per share. The transactions were a part of a prearranged 10b5-1 trading plan.
Bezos and His Amazon Shares
As of February 16, Jeff Bezos owned 14% of Amazon shares. Now, after his first sale this year, he still has about 52.5 million shares of Amazon, which is a 10.4% stake in the company. Notably, Bezos remains the world’s richest person, with a net worth of $191 billion, according to Forbes.
The transactions were a part of a prearranged 10b5-1 trading plan which provides an affirmative defense to insider trading. In other words, the company’s insiders can sell stocks in accordance with insider trading laws. The price, amount, and sales dates must be specified in advance and determined by a formula or metrics.
Since 2017, Jeff Bezos has been selling $1 billion in Amazon shares every year in order to fund his Blue Origin space project. For example, in 2019, he sold 1.5 million shares for about $2.8 billion. Last year, he sold almost $3.5 billion worth of Amazon shares.
The transaction follows the release of Amazon’s Q1 2021 earnings. As we have reported, during the first quarter, the company sales soared by 44% year-over-year to over $108 billion. Besides, its earnings per share totaled $15.79 against analysts’ expectations of $9.54. For the second quarter, the giant also has big expectations.
In the third quarter of 2021, Jeff Bezos is going to step down as the CEO. As he has written in an email to the employees, he will not step aside from the company entirely but will delegate the duties of the chairman to the CEO of Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer Business Jeff Wilke or CEO of Amazon Web Services Andy Jassy.
Amazon (AMZN) Stock Downs and Ups
This week, following the news, Amazon stock has been showing not the best performance. Since Monday, it has been falling. On Tuesday, Amazon stock recorded notable losses, dropping 2.20% to $3,311.87. Yesterday, it plunged by another 1.25% to close at $3,270.54. Further, after hours, it fell by 0.14% to $3,266.00. However, it has slightly recovered in the pre-market trade today. As of the press moment, it is trading at $3,283.00, or 0.38% up. Amazon’s market cap is $1.67 trillion.
Analysts are generally bullish about Amazon stock’s future, especially after its Q1 report with impressive figures. For instance, Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein raised his price target on Amazon stock to $4,400, from $4,200. The average Wall Street’s price target for Amazon is $4,186.23.