A pair of recent sales by Facebook (META 1.21%) insiders aren't as troubling as they might seem, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.
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.