Facebook's Sandberg sells $7.4 million in stock

Fri Nov 2, 2012 7:43pm EDT
 
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By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and two other executives at the social networking company sold millions of dollars worth of stock this week as restrictions on insider trading expired.

Sandberg netted about $7.44 million by selling roughly 353,000 Facebook shares on Wednesday, according to a filing with the SEC on Friday. Sandberg still owns roughly 20 million vested shares of Facebook stock, including shares held in her trusts, according to the filing.

Facebook General Counsel Theodore Ullyot and Chief Accounting Officer David Spillane also sold millions of dollars worth of shares this week, according to filings. All the Facebook executives' sales were part of pre-arranged stock trading plans.

The sales are the first by Facebook's senior management following the company's high-profile initial public offering in May.

The world's No.1 online social network became the only U.S. company to debut with a market value of more than $100 billion, but has seen its value plunge more than 40 percent since then on concerns about its long-term money-making prospects.

Shares of Facebook, which were priced at $38 in the IPO, closed Friday's regular session down 3 cents at $21.18.

The flood of shares set to hit the market as insider trading "lock-up" provisions expire in several phases have added to the pressure on Facebook's stock.

Roughly 230 million shares of Facebook became eligible for trading this week, as trading restrictions for employees expired. Another 800 million shares will be eligible for trading on November 14, significantly expanding the "float" of roughly 692 million Facebook shares that were available for trading as of September 30.   Continued...

 
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg laughs at the Iab Mixx Conference and Expo in New York October 2, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar