Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and a handful of other executives have been making headlines by unloading shares of their company’s stock. Insider selling has increased meaningfully this year. Now analysis from Bloomberg indicates that executives at the social network have bought in a total of $7.2 billion by selling a total of 186 million shares of Facebook. Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has raked in nearly half of that total.
11 Facebook holders unload over $100 million in stock
Bloomberg analysis shows that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) executive Mark Zuckerberg has earned the most from selling shares of the company he co-founded. This past weekend marked exactly two years since the social network’s IPO. Of the insiders who sold shares, 11 of them sold over $100 million. Zuckerberg himself raked in $3.4 billion from sales of his shares.
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In second place but trailing far behind Zuckerberg was Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS). The firm was Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s underwriter in its IPO, and it has earned $914 million since then by selling shares. Director and early investor Peter Thiel brought in $861 million from selling his Facebook stock.
Facebook insiders take advantage of rising share price
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock was priced at $38 per share on May 17, 2012 and then began trading on the NASDAQ the following day. The stock dropped like a rock quickly, declining below its IPO price. Investors began to question whether the social networking business was sustainable. Then last year Facebook shares recovered in a big way as the company proved that its business model is sustainable, particularly as advertising shifts over to mobile devices.
More recently, however, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock has been pressured. Shares have declined 19% since hitting their all-time high back in March.
Facebook execs’ behavior “typical”
COO Sheryl Sandberg has been joined by Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman and a few other insiders in continuing to sell off their Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock recently. Researcher Aaron Boyd told Bloomberg that this type of behavior is very typical of companies that go public. However, he also said that the social network’s size and also “the scale to which these shares are valued is atypical.”
In spite of the recent rise in insider selling, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) insiders still own most of their shares. Zuckerberg cashed out $3.41 billion, although most of that was to cover his tax obligations.