Boston Beer's CEO Is Selling. Should You Care?

Boston Beer (NYSE: SAM  ) chief executive Martin Roper has a near-zero stock position in the company he helps lead. In the following video, Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains why that might not matter.

First, let's dig into the numbers. Roper, who's been with Boston Beer since 1994, holds just 1,030 shares as of this writing. He has also just cashed in 50,000 shares at more than $200 apiece. A better than $10 million payout amassed in a matter of days. That's not uncommon for a CEO, per se, especially when you consider that Roper has been running point alongside founder Jim Koch since 2001, when he became CEO. As an investor, should you care that he's selling?

You might if you didn't know the context, and here, context is everything. Roper didn't just sell 50,000 shares; he exercised options to buy Boston Beer stock between $140 and $148 a share, and then sold at market prices. In doing so, he was abiding by the strictures of a previously filed 10b5-1 programmed trading plan. Roper had no control over the timing or pricing of the sales. He also still holds more than 30,000 options to buy Boston Beer shares.

Meanwhile, the most important insider -- Koch -- still owns more than 32% of the shares outstanding. He's also chairman of the board, and as such, remains engaged in the business. All good signs, Tim says.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Does Roper's selling bother you? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know whether you would buy, sell, or short Boston Beer stock at current prices.

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  • Report this Comment On February 01, 2014, at 12:04 PM, snommis69 wrote:

    Bother me? Hell no. I'm long on SAM, and have been for some time. This was a structured buy/sell that means zilch. It's a solid company, well managed with no real debt to speak of in a growing market.

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