Mark Zuckerburg has been quietly selling a huge chunk of his Facebook stock

01:31 PM | 21 Mar, 2018
Mark Zuckerburg has been quietly selling a huge chunk of his Facebook stock
After a scandal regarding the use of misappropriated data of over 50 million Facebook users by a data firm during Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign surfaced, Mark Zuckerburg has sold 1.14 million shares.

The selling of the huge chunk of Facebook stock was being termed as the most insider selling for any public company in past three months, said Argus Research's Vickers Weekly Insider. So far this year, Zuckerburg has sold more than 5 million shares.

Media reports say Zuckerberg and another executive sold shares about $20 above where they were trading Tuesday, while analyst saw no nefarious thing behind the regularly scheduled sales.

At the first trading day, Monday, Facebook shares dropped 6.77 percent after the data scandal surfaced, raising eyebrows over the privacy of users. Facebook shares traded 5.3 percent lower near $163 Tuesday afternoon.

Companies often compensate executives with stock, which they can sell at their discretion or according to a scheduled plan as determined by the Securities and Exchange Commission's Rule 10b5-1.

Zuckerberg, who is busy selling stocks, had announced plans in September last year to sell 35 million to 75 million shares in upcoming 18 months in order to fund philanthropic efforts.

He and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have announced to donate 99 percent of their company stake to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which focuses on disease and education.

According to Vickers data, Zuckerberg sold 228,400 shares a day on March 8 and March 9, 220,000 shares a day on March 12 and March 13, and 245,400 shares on March 14, CNBC reported.

That's a total of just over 1.14 million shares sold at an average price of $183.81, for a payout of nearly $210 million.

As of Wednesday, Zuckerberg still held nearly 393.1 million shares, or 13.53 percent of common shares outstanding, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

However, he has seen his wealth drop to around $66 billion from $75 billion since the stock closed on Friday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index and Forbes.

The Vickers data also showed that Facebook's Chief Technology Officer Michael Todd Schroepfer sold 38,024 shares on March 13. At the average price of $183.20, the stock sale brought in about $6,970,000.

Facebook declined to comment about the scheduled insider selling and the share-price decline.