Should You Be Concerned That These Facebook, Inc. Insiders Are Selling?

Not all sales are created equal. A Fool looks at the disclosures and deciphers the details behind a pair of recent transactions by Facebook Inc. insiders.

Mar 13, 2014 at 7:30PM

A pair of recent sales by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) insiders aren't as troubling as they might seem, Fool  contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.


Be sure to read the fine print when examining insider buying and selling.  Source: Tim Beyers/The Motley Fool.

Investors don't typically want to see insiders selling on the open market, which is what we had here. Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman sold a total of 23,400 shares between $69.70 a share and $71.85 a share for a rich payday of more than $1.6 million.

Chief Accounting Officer Jas Athwal sold a more modest 3,000 shares at an average price of $66.88 apiece for a bit more than $200,000 in pre-tax proceeds. Yet both did well, especially when you consider that, only a year ago, Facebook shares were trading for just about $27 each.

So are they selling at the top? Hardly. Both executives still hold hundreds of thousands of shares. They also sold under the purview of a 10b5-1 trading plan, which means they controlled neither the timing nor the prices at which they sold.

If there's a reason to be concerned about Facebook, it's increasing competition or advertising dollars from not just Google but also Yahoo!, which is taking deliberate steps to cut out middlemen like Facebook and get closer to users.

Our CTO is crazy... like a fox. Here's his secret.
Investors should always want those representing their interests to have as much (or more!) to gain from a rising stock price, which is why Facebook's insider sales aren't nearly so bad as it seems. In fact, we believe in this principle so strongly that we're allowing our Chief Technology Officer, Jeremy Phillips, to put more than $100,000 of his own money in a company that Fool co-founder Tom Gardner calls it "the one everlasting investment" to make -- even if you never buy another stock. To learn this company's identity for free and see why Jeremy and Tom believe in it so strongly, all you have to do is click here now.

Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Yahoo! It recommends and owns shares of Facebook and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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