Facebook's Sandberg sells $7.4 million in stock

SAN FRANCISCO Fri Nov 2, 2012 7:43pm EDT

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

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

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

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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.

Facebook's 28-year-old chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has committed to not sell any shares before September 2013.

Ullyot sold slightly more than 149,000 shares on Wednesday and Thursday, collecting $3.13 million. Ullyot has an additional 1.27 million in vested shares.

Spillane sold 256,000 shares on Wednesday, more than half of his vested shares, for proceeds of $5.4 million. Spillane had more than 863,000 Facebook shares, including unvested shares, according to a filing in May.

(Reporting By Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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Comments (6)
Alex3085 wrote:
This is a great time to buy facebook shares. This is the time to buy.

Nov 03, 2012 6:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
trusake wrote:
Look at her in that picture, laughing at how rich she is… my face is of depression on how poor and broke I am…
(sigh) what must it feel like to laugh and be rich I wonder.

Nov 03, 2012 10:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Renox wrote:
The facebook scam touting that 1 bil users equate 1 bil people when the majority of items are just “things”. The greedy investors and gullable advertisers failed to do diligence to check this out properly and shares will be worthless by the end of the year.

Nov 04, 2012 5:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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