updated 01:55 pm EDT, Sat August 25, 2012
Upcoming wave of insider sales in October feared
Two Facebook insiders have sold massive amounts of shares awarded to them during the highly-anticipated IPO in the last two weeks. Earlier this week, Peter Thiel sold $400 million worth of shares in the company. Adding to that, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz sold 900,000 shares in the course of the last six consecutive business days.
Moskovitz, Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard roommate, has unloaded 150,000 shares per business day since Friday, earning over $16.5 million dollars. Moskovitz still owns 6.6 million Facebook Class A shares, and 126.2 million Class B shares. Current Facebook director Peter Thiel sold approximately $400 million in shares of the company when his "lockup" expired last week.
Companies generally impose "lockup" status on insider shares for three months to a year after an IPO to regulate the release of shares on the free market to prevent exactly what's been happening to the share price. Market capitalization has dropped to $42.6 billion since the IPO. The lockup expires on a group of 1.22 billion IPO and founder shares on November 14.
Facebook stock hit a record low on August 17, sinking to just over half the IPO price, as insiders and the first investors in the company became eligible to unload the shares locked up by federal trading restrictions since the commencement of sales. Experts said in response to the drop that the value of the stock and company could plummet further if early purchasers and employees saturate the market with their shares of stock as more lockups expire before the end of the year.