Published in PC Hardware

AMD execs sold shares before “good news”

by on25 November 2016


Poor lambs


AMD executives can’t really get a break, even when the company is doing well. Normally when execs start flogging off their shares it is because the company is going to announce something unpopular which will send share prices downwards. However, in AMD’s case they did the opposite.

They flogged their shares just before good news sent the stock up about 30 percent.

CEO Lisa Su, CFO Devinder Kumar, and five other top executives sold over two million shares of AMD this month, mostly at prices under $7. Shortly after almost all the sales, on November 15, the company announced a new cloud computing partnership with Google and the shares shot up to a high of $9.22.

To be fair though, they wouldn’t have benefited much if they had waited. The sales mostly followed even larger stock awards under AMD’s executive compensation programmes. The sales were made to cover taxes owed on the vesting of the stock awards. If they had waited, the only one to benefit would have been the taxman.

On 2 November, CEO Su received over 1.5 million shares that vested as the first part of a multi-year performance stock unit programme. She sold 665,414 shares two days later to cover tax withholding obligations. CFO Kumar got 515,102 shares via the performance plan and sold 312,469 to cover tax obligations, according to a filing.

Jim Anderson, who oversees the computing and graphics business unit, sold shares after 15 November . But that’s because his performance stock award did not vest until then. He sold over the next two days as the share prices rose rapidly. Again though the sales were to cover tax obligations, according to the SEC.

AMD shares have been doing well since February, when they were a miserable $1.83. Analysts had expected sales would continue shrinking in 2016, but AMD has posted $3.2 billion of net sales in the first nine months of the year, up four per cent, including a 23 per cent jump in the most recent quarter.

Last modified on 25 November 2016
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