Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) director Marc Andreessen has sold close to half his stake in the social networking giant since October 30, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings show.
Between October 30 and November 6, Andreessen sold more than 900,000 shares, netting around $96.5 million, according to three SEC filings. The sales were organized under a pre-arranged trading plan, and included 19 transactions at prices ranging from $101.90 to $110.20 a share. The sales represent close to 45 percent of Andreessen’s total personal holdings in Facebook.
Facebook Insider sells on high-flying price
The most recent filing on late Monday disclosed that Andreessen sold 301,048 Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares, collecting $32.6 million on November 5 and November 6.
A November 5 filing shows he sold 310,850 Facebook shares for roughly $32 million, while a November 3 document shows he sold another 309,464 shares for about $31.9 million. Post those sales, Andreessen still owns nearly 758,000 Class A Facebook shares. He also has claim to around 380,000 Class B shares that have special voting rights.
Interestingly, Andreessen offloading all those shares occurred around November 4, when Facebook reported an 11 percent jump in third-quarter earnings. The stronger-than-expected results prompted Wall Street to drive Facebook’s stock to a record high of $110.65.
Marc Andreessen is a co-founder of Menlo Park-based venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He’s a key Silicon Valley figure, and is widely known for his frequent rants against critics who say tech start up valuations are too lofty.
Andreessen has been on Facebook’s board since 2008. That’s well before the company’s IPO in 2012. In December 2013, Andreessen sold 1.65 million shares of Facebook at $55.05 for total proceeds of $90.6 million. Besides Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Andreessen’s firm has invested in Twitter, Skype, Groupon and Airbnb.
What’s going on at Facebook?
Transactions of such magnitude are rare for Andreessen. Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research says it’s hard to draw conclusions from the sales without “any sort of commentary from Marc Andreessen himself.”
“The fact is, Facebook stock is up over 40% in the past year and up even more significantly since the (initial public offering), so Andreessen has had a great return on his investment here already,” Dawson told USA Today.
He however goes on to add that it’s “somewhat unexpected to see a guy who’s not afraid to be vocal be so quiet about why he’s selling these shares.”
“I expect we might well see some sort of commentary from Andreessen on why he sold these shares before long.”