Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) general counsel Bruce Sewell and Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams have both sold off tens of thousands of shares of their Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. They each raked in millions of dollars through those sales.
Details On Apple Execs’ Stock Sales
Mac Rumors’ Juli Clover spotted the sales of the stock. The filings indicate that Sewell sold more than 37,000 shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), while Williams sold off almost 37,000 shares. Each of them earned about $15 million from the sales of their company’s stock.
She reports that both of these two executives received 150,000 restricted stock units in 2011 so that they would stay employed at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Half of their shares vested last week, and the other half won’t be vested until March 2016. Also both Sewell and Williams own thousands more shares in addition to the 75,000 restricted stock units that will be vested in 2016.
Are Apple Employees Losing Confidence?
Both executives’ sales of their Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares can be looked at in two ways. First, it’s worth questioning whether they still have any confidence in the company. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) employees have been leaving the company right and left, and some have speculated that it’s because the company’s stock has been struggling. On Wednesday the stock closed below $400 per share, and it’s been struggling to stay above this mark all week so far.
So did Sewell and Williams get out while the getting was good? They managed to rake in millions of dollars from their sales, so why not sell now before the price gets any worse? Also since they followed the SEC’s rules enabling corporate insiders to inform the agency ahead of their trades, the decision to sell had to have been made some time ago, maybe even in April when Apple shares also dipped below $400 per share.
Or Did They Just Want The Money?
But then it’s also possible that they sold just because they could rake in millions. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares have been struggling all year so far, but they are still above 2011 prices, so both executives could make money by selling now. There is always a risk that paper profits will fall or even become losses, no matter which company you’re talking about.
Nonetheless, there’s something to be said for having skin in the game, and these executives still own thousands of more shares. Maybe we don’t need to question why they sold. It is their right to do so, after all.