Apple Inc. Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams sold $30 million in stock last week in what one expert deemed an “opportunistic” move by the longtime Apple executive.
Williams’ sale struck VerityData research director Ben Silverman as “a negative valuation data point,” he wrote in a report to clients, because Williams “deviated from his well-established behavior of selling at the time of a restricted stock vesting and in doing so sold at a targeted price.”
Williams has two large stock vestings annually—early in April and October—and he typically sells shortly after the units vest. That he didn’t sell last October implies that at the time of that vesting “the stock was below a minimum sale price threshold employed by Williams, and that the amendment to the 10b5-1 plan in February involved either lowering that threshold or installing a trigger price,” Silverman said in his report. “That’s a change in behavior and it’s an opportunistic one.”